Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Silent Screams in Society

Life can be kind to some and cruel to others, who have more to cry about. And probably the biggest problem is that many do not hear the cries, mostly because the cries are silent. 

Writing in the Kyeongyang Magazine, a creator of a documentary radio program for over 30 years gives us his thoughts on  "The Scream," by Edvard Munch. The painting helps the writer recall  when his cry became vocal, and he says it was with the help of alcohol. In his life, the years of growing up were not what he expected. There was poverty, sickness and fear about the future. It was his mother who gave him the strength to overcome the difficulties. The crying was there but silent.

"The Scream," for our writer, is a depiction of an audible scream. Having worked in radio for so many years what he reads and sees is easily translated into sound. He can even hear the sound of a piece of white paper. A reason the painting means so much to him.

He quotes from the writing of Munch for the motivation behind the painting."I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature." The life of Munch was filled with plentiful reasons for the "The Scream."

The writer then brings to our attentions a horrible crime that was committed by a knife-wielding criminal. Victims of the crime were many, families were involved, and fear was experienced, with emotional scars never to be healed

However, seeing the bent-over  figure of the criminal in the papers brings other thoughts to mind and gives those that see him a heavy heart. He has no credit card, no money, no telephone, no house--a loner.  He has not even one friend with whom to exchange some words. He  even shakes his fist at the mother who wants to help him. Hasn't he also been silently screaming?  How much of our society has  been able to hear these screams?

We are able to see beauty in paintings but there are also paintings that show us a seamier way of life: A life that is not so beautiful, with faces distorted and bodies disfigured, showing us a different facet of life. The writer has been moved by this school of expressionists. Seeing this sadness in life helps him to purify his own sadness, and seeing the screams  he also screams. He wants us to reflect on the many who are screaming but are not heard.

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