Art and Literature: A Comparison
Art and writing are two very different ways of expressing oneself, but there are elements of artistic expression that remain common in both. Tone, theme, and structure are just a few of these elements. The works of Jasper Johns, "False Start," and, "Painting with Two Balls," as well as Annie Dillard's, "Heaven and Earth in Jest," are comparable in that all three works of art use the aforementioned elements in order to reach the audience with a direct point, which seems to be the idea that in order to understand anything in life and nature, you need to look to actually see the true meaning and purpose behind it. The structure and tone of these works are used similarly by both artists in order to demonstrate this somewhat complex and hidden theme.
Annie Dillard begins her story, "Heaven and Earth in Jest," right away by developing a structure in which she creates breaks between paragraphs, halting the continuous flow of the passage. These paragraph breaks not only create transitions from one idea to another, but each serves a much greater purpose, which is to utilize the structure to develop the theme. Because the paragraph breaks are quite obviously not an accident, the reader is forced to contemplate the reason for their existence. Each break serves as an idea change, and the most important break, which occurs between paragraphs twelve and thirteen, jumps from present to past, and she really delivers her point in the last paragraph of the story. The tone of Annie Dillard's story is inquisitive and intimate, and the imagery she uses aids in the delivery of the overall message of the piece. "We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what's going on here," (Dillard 61). This theme manifests itself throughout the story by actually causing the reader to use the idea in order to understand the story itself. Without realizing the importance of structure and tone in Dillard's...
Cited: Eds. Jo Ray McCuen and Anthony C. Winkler. Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 1991.
Wikipedia. Jasper Johns. 2007. Online. 14 Mar 2007.
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