Thesis • Williams uses imagery, contrast, and ekphrasis to express the frightening uncertainty of living with out ones sense of sight as expressed in Pieter Bruegel’s painting The Parable of the Blind.
Message of the Parable of the Blind • Parable - A short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. From dictionary.com - The moral lesson in the parable of the blind is (the blind leading the blind) in our opinion Williams uses ekphrasis to criticize society and the interactions between people possibly leading each other in the wrong direction or to some where they don’t want to go but do so any ways because you think that some one could metaphorically (see).
Structure 3 line stanzas - Gives the poem a more story like feel and gives a rhythmic pattern of speech. Punctuation - In the poem there are no periods or commas. Enjambment – Ideas run on from stanza to stanza
Sound • Alliteration – “superb painting the parable…” • “diagonally downwards” • “pitiful possessions” • Williams uses alliteration to make the connection between to words more memorable and have more of a flowing sound -Ex. If “pitiful possessions” was possessions of which are pitiful it would not have the same affect on the reader.
Style • Imagery- Imagery is used in trying to express being sightless and to represent the painting the poem is based off of. • Appearance Ex. Use of the words painting, Canvas, Picture for the painting and “without a red” for being sightless • Movement: Ex. “a group of beggars leading each other diagonally downward across the canvas from one side” • Juxtaposition/Contradiction: First stanza “This horrible but superb painting” Eighth stanza “hand triumphant to disaster”
Language • Adjectives – Extraneous • Pun – “without a red” • Hyperbole/Contradiction – “horrible but superb”, “triumphant to disaster”
Activity • “pitiful possessions” -What sort of possessions do you think a blind person would need or have? Could we have any such possessions in our lives in the modern world that can be compared to the possessions of the blind?