In the National Gallery
Looking back into your past or looking ahead into your future is something common for us to do as humans. When we look back or forward it often has to do with age. To remind us of how we acted or what we stood for we combine age with views in our heads. People interpret the world in different ways. I guess u can say that the youth’s views are mainly controlled by negligence and spontaneity, while the old focus on passion and greatness. All in all the two stages are very different from each other, if not the complete opposite of each other, and when they meet they often get into conflict. How many times have you not argued with an old man about something which was obvious to you, but for him it was veiled? This conflict caused by the generation gap happens in the short story In the National Gallery by Doris Lessing from 2007. Through a first person narrator we become a part of a public space, London’s National Gallery. The narrator, whose age, gender and appearance remains hidden from us as readers, watches, observes and comments on activity in the gallery from a central position. The narrator guides our perceptions and judgments through the events that we witness through his eyes. What the narrator, a spectator, is interested in is observing something familiar, and only one thing. “It should be already known to me”. “And there it was the Stubbs chestnut horse, that magnificent beast, all power and potency, and from the central benches I could see it well”. The choice falls on Stubbs' chestnut horse. As the painting is in the center of the gallery it also becomes the essential point of understanding the short story. More than just a horse in a painting, the narrator wants to observe people interacting. The people the narrator observes, or spies on from his position in the middle of the gallery, all deal with the painting of the horse in some way or another. Furthermore, the horse could be used to understand the various generations that...
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