Thinking Outside The Box In "Ways Of Seeing"

707 words - 3 pages

A man and a woman lived inside a brick house for over 50 years. They had a fear of the outdoors so they never went outside and no one ever visit. The couple lived their life in solitude. The limited knowledge they had of places and things they shared with each other. The man had this concept of color everything was either black or white. The man would say that an object was white even if it was a light shade of yellow. He would also say that an object was black even if it was a dark shade of purple or blue. The woman knew about colors, but she didn't know how to characterize them, so the man taught her the difference between the black and the white object. "The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe" (Berger 106). This is the only way one can explain the thought process of the couple. If a person is not exposed to a certain lifestyle there are only two ways to look at the situation, either the person accepts what they are taught by others or they can think "outside of the box" and make up there own way of seeing the situation. The same concept can be applied to looking at paintings. If a person has previous knowledge of a painting, whether it is from books or peers, when looking at that painting the first thought is going to be there previous knowledge of the painting. Then from there they can either accept what they see or create their own way of seeing the painting.

One can conclude that a person's view of a painting is caused by the old concept of nature verses nurture. "We accept it in so far as it corresponds to our own observation of people, gestures, faces, institutions" (Berger 111). The environment in which a person was raised in plays an enormous part on their views. When people look at paintings the main problem is sometimes what the person was taught before. What that person was taught can either...

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