Good Essay About Freedom Of Speech Painting
The freedom of speech painting, which was painted as a depiction of one of Roosevelt’s freedoms, has been hailed as one of the most famous paintings by Norman Rockwell. Like the paintings of the freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear, the freedom of speech painting was meant to convey one of the ideals held by President Roosevelt about the state of the United States at the time when the world was engulfed in a number of conflicts. They were all based on the 1941 state of the union address. Several other paintings have since been done by different artists to depict freedom of speech, including the one we are going to look at.
The painting of the freedom of speech annexed at the end of this paper is unique in a number of ways. The painting itself embodies an important message of a free state where people can easily express their opinions even when everyone else do not appear to agree with the opinions in question. To understand the meaning and message of the painting, one must analyze the scheme carefully, looking at all the elements of the painting, from the characters depicted to the setting. The painting was done in such a way that it captured all the important constructs of freedom of speech as envisioned by President Roosevelt when he articulated the four freedoms, about a year before the United States was sucked into the World War II when the Japanese attacked American fleets at Pearl Harbor.
The freedom of speech painting comprises a man speaking in a crowded public forum. Around him are many other people who appear to be listening to him. The dressing, posture and age of the man signify several things as far as the message in the painting is concerned. To begin with, the man appears to be younger than everyone else in the forum. During those days, there was a common belief that younger people were supposed to listen to, and not address, older members of the society. This was the bare minimum expectation even in political discourses where age was commonly associated with wisdom and intelligence. That a younger man could address a crowd of seemingly more senior officials therefore signifies a bold departure from the traditional American thinking where older people were expected to hold more important opinions in all issues. That a younger man can be listened to is therefore a depiction of a new sense of freedom, what Roosevelt called the freedom of speech, which freedom is still enjoyed in the United States today.
The dressing of the young speaker also speaks volumes. He appears in working-class clothes while everyone else in the forum is adorned in expensive business suits. The dressing of the characters is a reflection of their perceived standing in the society. Those in business suits are supposed to be more important than the young man addressing them. Because, according to what the picture depicts, the opinion he is presenting appears to be in clear conflict with that of his listeners, one would expect that he will be dismissed all together. But this is not the case. His listeners are very attentive and patient even though they clearly hold a different opinion. The main message here is that everyone is free to give their opinion. The freedom of speech painting also encompasses a basic tenet of democracy, where everyone is listened to regardless of their age or social status.
The meaning of this painting bears a lot of relevance to the society we live in today. Freedom of speech forms an important part of the rights and fundamental freedoms Americans enjoy today. This also includes their right to democratic processes.