Metamorphosis Of Narcissus Essay Research Paper Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis Of Narcissus Essay, Research Paper

Metamorphosis of Narcissus

The painting Metamorphosis of Narcissus was created in 1937 by oil on canvas

by Salvador Dali. This painting uses a lot of images to say what it means, for example, a

person, a hand, water, a starving dog, a chess board, a canyon or cliff, and people. This is

not to fill the paper or distract the viewer from the suggested meaning or point, but to

support the idea that hope and despair are reflections of one another; on opposite sides of

a coin, spinning in mid-air, waiting to land and fix or destroy everything.

The first thing that one thinks upon first seeing it, from far away, is that Dali just

painted the same thing twice. From afar, it appears as if he simply cut the canvas down

the middle and made one side brown and the other blue, but on closer inspection, one

sees that the two sides, although very similar, are nothing alike.

On one side, there sits a limp body staring at the reflection of herself in the water

that she sinks in. The setting sun glistens off the back of her head, but she just wallows in

grim depression and boredom. The canyons trap her in the barren wasteland as she sits

motionless, without movement, struggle, or life. This mysterious figure looks so vacant

that it might as well be dead. Nothing is happening on this side, so one?s attention is

directed to the other.

On the other side, a blue decaying hand emerges from the ground with ants

crawling on it, possibly making their homes in it or finding food on it. Atop this

petastool, rests an egg with a flower sprouting from it. This display of life emerging from

the dead is a symbol of hope and beauty. To the left of the hand, a very unhealthy

malnourished dog feasts on fresh meat; his salvation is handed to him and he survives.

Behind the dog is a chess board with a young man in the middle of it, proudly surveying

the battlefield as though it were his kingdom. To his left are people on a road that leads

off into the horizon. All these things symbolize new beginnings out of old life and hope

from death.

The message that Salvador Dali was trying to get across is that hope and despair,

failure and victory, and life and death are all equal forces, each one pulling the other in an

eternal war to balance everything. It?s all a cycle, and like all cycles, it repeats itself

forever and ever, and there?s no way of having one without the other.