Ways of Seeing Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe how there is a gap between words and sight, as explained in Chapter 1.

Seeing enables an individual to relate to his environment, while words are used to explain the environment. Simply seeing something does not provoke an explanation; we must find words to fit the sight we are seeing.

2. Describe how Magritte's painting "The Key of Dreams" is a commentary on the gap between words and image.

The painting is a four-pane window with a black background and a black and white image with white script words below each pane. One might assume a relation between the image and the script. Underneath the image of a suitcase in one pane is written "the valise." However, below the image of a horse's head is "the door," under an image of a clock "the wind," and under a pitcher "the bird." Nothing suggests the title of the painting. Magritte is showing that images can have multiple meanings, while words are more definite.

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