Observation Essay – The Clown

analytical Essay
1477 words
1477 words

Observation Essay – The Clown

He’s a young man, the clown, with white socks striped in black, and black suspenders over a white T-shirt. White face, red nose. His MO is to follow people and imitate their motion without their noticing, to the glee of the sizeable, ever-changing audience. We’re sitting here on the steps of the Museum, hot and sweaty, watching the show.

The clown can follow anyone: a slinky woman wearing pink ruffles, a kid with a mountain bike, a muscle-shirted dude talking Spanish on a cell phone, an old man walking his schnauzer, a big gray pigeon bobbing this way and that in search of food, and then taking flight.

Now he slides behind high-school girlfriends, floppy-sandaled flirts leaning toward each other and flinging back their hair with unthinking charm, the clown their vampy shadow. When he bids them goodbye, he flourishes a soft, velvet-bodied top hat, and you can see his head is shaven, except for a forelock. Now he’s got a routine with a bottle of water. It’s stuck in his mouth and silently he implores a guy to get it out for him. He has a way of getting sudden spurts of water to cascade from it, while he looks surprised and delighted at once.

I have persuaded my friend Kati to leave me here for an hour in the afternoon sun while she completes her tour of the Impressionists inside. She’s in New York this once, visiting from Hungary, while I live in Philadelphia and can come back any time I choose.

I became hot and dizzy while standing on a Rouen street, basking in the sun before Monet’s Cathedral. A red tide rose inside my eyeballs. Kati found me clinging to a bench in front of Seurat’s Circus Sideshow and hauled me off to the Ladies’ Room, where she sprinkled cool water on my neck an...

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...e gently, informing me that I have a virus, melodramatic old fool that I am. The clown has taken his place at the foot of the stairs and conducts us spectators like an orchestra, getting us to applaud in counterpoint. Then he mimes a family, three kids, all of whom need to eat and drink, and proffers his floppy hat for our sustenance.

When I hold out two dollars, he comes over and mimes opening the doors of his chest, so that the heart within flutters out to me. Kati comes and we head home, our minds full of the art we saw today. As I rise from my spot on the steps, I see the clown shadow a man walking six dogs all at once, working his body back and forth on the leash of the unruliest, a sheep-dog. Then he takes a bottle of water offered by a vendor and puts it in his ear. Water squirts from his mouth, and he smiles, looking briefly skyward, one hand on his hip.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the clown's mo to follow people and imitate their motion without their noticing, to the glee of the sizeable, ever-changing audience.
  • Narrates how a high-school girl slides behind her, floppy-sandaled flirts leaning toward each other with unthinking charm, the clown their vampy shadow.
  • Narrates how they persuaded their friend kati to leave them for an hour in the afternoon sun while she completed her tour of the impressionists inside.
  • Describes how kati found them clinging to a bench in front of seurat's circus sideshow and hauled them off to the ladies' room.
  • Analyzes how the clown is their gift as they sit overlooking the avenue on their espaliered tourist throne, wondering what is wrong with them. they can see the rhythms even of those he is not following.
  • Describes how survivors and refugees from the museum, formed into a tribe by the clown, sit on the steps, playing tag in the crowd as their parents, bristling with electronics, perspiring and trying to recover
  • Narrates how an old man scans the crowd like an elder, a priest blessing us with his stole. a student steps away with baseball cap, backpack, army-green loose pants, and dark tee.
  • Describes how the woman next to them is taking off her sneakers to put on nicer shoes because she's meeting her husband. cabs bring folks and take them away, bicycle rickshaw drivers pause for a few minutes
  • Analyzes how an unmarked van disgorges five flak-jacketed policemen, two of them sporting semi-automatic rifles, and shifts part of the audience. is there an event at the museum after closing?
  • Describes how an earnest young woman blares three determined notes on an electric guitar over and over. two girls with a microphone and audio equipment interview the people on the steps.
  • Analyzes how the clown's maneuvers are based on equal parts of stealth and discovery. the humor of the scene is also in the suspense.
  • Analyzes how the clown picks lice out of the business-suited man's yellow wavy hair, snacking on them delicately. he shifts to align himself with the jerky motion of a man in tan shorts shading his eyes and panning the crowd.
  • Describes how they lose the clown in the sweep of people and peer anxiously behind them to be sure he is not mimicking them writing this.
  • Narrates how kati and the clown shadow, a man walking six dogs at once, work their bodies back and forth on the leash of the unruliest sheep-dog.
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