Essay about Analysis Of John Berger 's ' The White Bird '

Essay about Analysis Of John Berger 's ' The White Bird '

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What do you feel when you see a sunset? Warm, happy, amazed, awe-inspired? The sun rose yesterday, and will again tomorrow, and will again the day after that, it’s not as if the sunrise is a miraculous event, yet the emotions are visceral. It’s beautiful, and this strikes a deep, primal chord inside. John Berger attempts to unravel this mysterious attraction to beauty in his essay, “The White Bird”. The white bird in question is a small, wooden carving of a white bird, hung in the kitchens of certain cultures that experience long winters, such as the Haute Savoie region in France. According to Berger, the birds are an attempt to hold onto the fleeting beauty of nature, and a reminder of the spring to come. “Nature is energy and struggle. It is what exists without any promise”, nature owes nothing to humanity (82). It simply exists, and does not attempt to be more than what it is, does not attempt to actively help or hurt humans. Berger claims, “beauty is always an exception, always in despite of. This is why it moves us”, because there is rarely a glimpse of beauty in the harsh distain of nature, when there is a moment where the clouds clear and the sun peaks through, it moves us (82). Berger calls this the “aesthetic emotion”. It is difficult to explain in words, but is an emotion grounded deeply in all humans. Think about the sunrise, or a waterfall, or even something as simple as a flower. That warmth in your chest? That’s the aesthetic emotion. It is hope for a brighter future and, as the villagers who hang the white birds in their kitchens and chapels during long and cold winters; it is a reminder of summer and brighter days ahead.
If Berger finds the “aesthetic emotion” in nature, then Mark Morrisroe finds it in human in...


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...be explained in words. It is something to be felt, something that we experience entirely on our own, yet everyone understands. As Doty says, “And the overall effect, the result of looking and looking into its brimming surface as long as I could look, is love” (33). That indescribable emotion is made up of many things; of wonder, of awe, of happiness, of love. How can you not love a beautiful flower poking out of the concrete? How can you not you’re your friends? How can you not love the sunset? The answers to the questions I have just asked are different for everyone. There are many flowers, friends, and sunsets to imagine. But we all understand the emotion binds all of humanity together. Morrisroe draws this out in me, Jan Davidsz de Hemm brings it out in Doty, and that tiny white wooden bird seduces Berger. Our sunsets our different, but our experience is the same.

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