God’s Man

It was interesting to me how the characters were represented using expressionism, like what was discussed in chapter 5 of the McCloud reading.  The images were surreal, and lacked the perfect real world representation of form and function of the impressionistic era.  This departure from realism still left me with a clear sense of what was going on, and perhaps would probably seem clearer to me than an impressionist approach.

Expressionism allows the bad guys to instantly be seen as malevolent without the use of words.  Overly embellished featured of certain characters effectively made some of them look evil or untrustworthy without having to tell me that with words.  Because people’s looks rarely reflect their true nature, and an impressionistic approach may have made it difficult to portray one’s inner evil without the assistance of written text.

I think God’s Man was the first time that I had ever tried to read something with no words.  Quite frankly, I was pretty confused for the first couple chapters and had to go back and reread it a few times to get the most out of the work.  I found myself trying to read the scrolls with “words” on them to get a better idea of what was going on, but then realized that they were merely representations of words rather than written text.  While this was a pretty cool novel, I’m pretty sure that I will not be referencing anything from this book for the tracing project later in this semester.

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2 thoughts on “God’s Man”

  1. That’s a great point, that a few details in an image can quickly convey a character’s moral standing, far more quickly than a whole page of words could. I’m curious to hear more about what you noticed. Were there specific bodily features that Ward relied upon to telegraph good and immorality? What details in the images did most of the work?

  2. I agree that Gods’ Man was interesting to read given that it had no words, and I feel that Lynd is able to accomplish much more this way than if he had included verbal text. With words, for instance, the pictures themselves, which are rich in meaning on their own, would be overwhelming. Furthermore, as “The Pleasures of Childhood Reading” and the McCloud readings suggest, pictures, because of the myriad points of detail that go into producing them, can become much more thought provoking than words. The jeering expression that the woman with “the brand” wear, for example, evokes a lot more emotion for a reader with far greater ease than a descriptive sentence could; only the reader, and no one else, can tell him or her what that look really says.

    I agree, furthermore, with what you have to say about the look of different characters. The way some characters, such as the woman I just mentioned, have far more detail than the protagonist, who is mostly solid black. He gives off a sense off a feeling of isolation and alienation that follows him throughout the narrative; if he had about as much detail as everyone else, the effect wouldn’t have been nearly as effective.

    Additionally, I felt that by leaving out the text Lynd creates a story outline and leaves the details blank so that the reader can create his or her own story and infer what he or she might. There is freedom (and, as McCloud might say, responsibility) given to each reader. Only the reader can say who the mystery figure is, what he intends to do, and what happens at the end of the story.

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