Emotions portrayed in literary works and artistic displays. Speaks of works by Poe, Baudelaire, Monet, and Warhol

Essay by KRaZy aLExHigh School, 11th grade April 1997

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Throughout life, clothing and body language are often utilized

as sources of emotional expression. These emotions can also be

portrayed in literaray works and artisitic displays, such as those of

Poe, Baudelaire, Manet, and Warhol. In Poe's "Man of the Crowd,"

there are several descriptions of different types of people based on

their appearances, but one particular man is focused on by the narrator

due to his unique appearance. Baudelaire's "The Painter of Modern

Life" emphasizes the emotional expressions of beauty and fashion

expressed in art. Manet is an artist who paints scenes to his liking.

All of his works were done in his studio and set up the way that he

wanted them. He holds a particular focus on men and women and the

relationship between them. The positions and clothing that the men and

women are set up in hold strong emotional implications about their

feelings towards one another and the emotions involved in the social


The opening of "The Man of the Crowd," describes the emotions

involved in untold secrets and the deepest of crimes; there are

internal conflicts, struggles, anxieties, and agonous results due to the

horror of the unsolvable crimes. The possibility of these crimes is

introduced through the man of the crowd through his unseemingly

unidentifiable expression The narrator describes his thoughts of this

man as:

There arose confusedly and paradoxically within my mind, the ideas of

vast mental power, of caution, of penuriousness, of avarice, of

coolness, of malice, of blood-thirtstiness, of triumph, of merriment, of

excessive terror, of intense - of supreme despair. I felt singularly

aroused, startled, fascinated. "How wild a history," I said to myself,

"is written within that bosom!"

Although the narrator had never spoken to this man of the crowd, he was

compelled to follow him based on his expression that had never been

viewed by the narrator. He continued to follow the man of the crowd,

noticing his patterns of following people by the mass and his shambled

cloting and he concluded that he "[was] the type and genious of deep

crime. He refuses to be alone."

Prior to viewing the man of the crowd, the narrator observed

several different types of people, all of which were able to be "read"

through their outward appearances.. The most numerous amount of

individuals were business men. The first type of business men "[had]

brows [that were knit, and their eyes rolled quickly." They were also

not distracted nor distraught when they were pushed around by men of

their sort. It was concluded by the narrator from these characteristics

that those men were content and "seemed to be thinking only of making

their way through the press." The second type of business men conveyed

a different type of body language; they were restless, had flushed

faces, and talked and motioned to thesmselves. Their motions would

increase in number in addition to an overdone smile, when they were

jostled and they would bow apologetically to the jostlers. Their

movements indicated to the narrator that they felt alone as a result of

the large crowd surrounding them. These movements sounded to me as

though the business men were insecure in their actions and motioned to

themselves for purposes of reassurement. Their apologetic motions were

for purposes of acceptance of themselves to the rest of the crowd. Both

types of businessmen were concluded to be independent, "decent," and

men who were responsible for conducting their own business. These men's

professions were also identified as noblemen, merchants, attorneys,

tradesmen, and stock-jobbers through their actions and body language.

Clerks were other individuals who were able to be recognized

through their outward appearances. The "junior" clerks were "young

gentlemen with tight coats, bright boots, well - oiled hair, and

supercilious lips." They were also perceived as frequently working at

desks and it was concluded that they "were the cast - off graces of the

gentry." These men appear to be well groomed and wearing the latest

fashions. They are trying to impress others and the "deskism" described

by the narrator shows that they are hard workers. The supercilious lips

of the clerks places an emphasis upon the clerk's mouths. This is

important because the clerks use the words from their mouths to sell and

to make an impression upon others. They appear to be aggresive

because of their supercilious lips and their bold clothing. They also

appear to be ambitious due to the appearance of them constantly working

at desks. The "upper clerks" were

'known by their coats and pantaloons of black or brown, made to sit

comfortably, with white cravats and waistcoats, broad solid looking

shoes, and thick hose or gaiters. They had all slightly bald heads,

from which the right ears, long used to pen holding, had an odd habit of

standing off on end.'

They also always used both hands when handling their hars, and "wore

watches, with short gold chains of a substantial and ancient pattern."

The "upper" clerks are older men and also wear older clothing. Because

their pants were "made to sit comfortably," they appear to be relaxed

men. Their "solid looking shoes" imply that they want good durability

and that they are sensible in their clothing, and probably in life.

Their overall appearance is one of responsibility and stability; they

don't need new clothing because they have already established


The gamblers were easily identified through their clothing and

body language. The first type of gamblers wore the clothing of "the

desperate, thimble - rig bully, with velvet waistcoat, fancy

neckerchief, gilt chains, and filagreed buttons." They also had "long

locks and smiles." The clothing of the first type of gambler was seen

as "desperate," thus describing a negative emotion of gamblers. Their

elaborate clothing can be viewed as an effort to display their

ostentatiousness and a method of hiding their shame. The second type of

gambler was described as "that of the scrupulously inornate clergyman."

He is probably one who is more reserved and possibly less fascinated

with the night life of gambling or less willing to show his involvement

in gambling. Both types of gamblers were able to be "distinguished by

a certain sodden swarthiness of complexion, a filthy dimness of eye, and

pallor and compression of lip." The gambler's complexion can be thought

of as showing the sulleness of their whereabouts. The compression of

their lips can be viewed as a repression of decency. The other

characteristics identified with the gamblers were "a guarded lowness of

tone in conversation, and a more than ordinary extension of the thumb in

a direction at right angles with the fingers." These characterisitics

appear to be defensive motions, thus showing their wariness of others.

Like Poe, Baudelaire also describes emotions through body

language and clothing. In addtition, beauty is a trait that is heavily

focused upon. The beauty of the soldier is described because:

'Accustomed as he is to surprises, the soldier does not easily lose his

composure. Thus, in this case, beauty will consist of a carefree,

martial air, a strange mixture of calm and boldness; it is a form of

beauty that comes from the need to be ready to die at any moment. But

the face of the ideal military man must be stamped with a great air of

simplicity; ... soldiers are, in many matters, as simple as children;

and like children, once duty has been done, they are easy to amuse, and

given to boisterous forms of fun.'

The beauty that the soldier possesses is primarily through his emotional

qualities. The soldier has a facade of courageousness, peacefulness,

and lightheartedness. Baudelaire also mentions the "martial air" of the

soldier, which emphasizes the setting and the clothing of the soldier.

He also states that the "ideal" military man must have a "simple"

facial expression. Although it is difficult to determine the wants and

needs of a "simple" face, Baudelaire does so by determining the

personalities and thoughts of the soldier and by comparing him with a

child. Earlier on in "The Painter of Modern Life," Baudelaire

describes children with praise as living life as though they are drunk,

with a certain kind of happiness. The soldier is identified with this

hapinness because of his simple facial expression.

The description of the facial expression is dexcribed more

specifically by Baudelaire as he observes one of the drawings of the

soldier. Baudelaire is unsure of what mission the soldier is on, but

describes him as "the steadfast audacious character, even in repose, of

all these sun-tanned, weather-beaten faces." Baudelaire then states

that this is the expression molded by hard work, afflicted pain, and

firmness. He then describes the clothing as:

'trousers turned up and tucked into gaiters, great-coats tarnished by

dust and vaguely discolored, the whole equipment in fact has itself

taken on the indestructible appearance of beings that have returned from

afar, and have experienced strange adventures.'

The clothing is characterisitic of the soldier; the tarnished and dusty

clothing adds to the soldier's experiences in the battlefield and to the

distances that the soldier has travelled. The emotional characteristics

of the soldiers are thus bounded by their clothing and facial


Soldiers have a beauty that is very evident to Baudelaire, but

women possess a different type of beauty. In order to elaborate their

beauty it is essential for women to wear makeup. Without makeup, women

look natural and Baudelaire states that nature portrays all of the evils

in humans. Nature is vicious and "counsels crime." Makeup brings out

the goodness in women and hides the evils of nature. Baudelaire

describes virtue as "artificial" and "superficial". He also says

that "evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate;

good is always the product of an art." He believes that applying

makeup is an art and it is thus decent for women to wear. He also

describes makeup as "fostering a magic and supernatural aura about her

appearance." He also says that they must:

borrow, from all the arts, the means of rising above nature, in order

the better to conquer the hearts and impress the minds of men. It

matters very little that the ruse and artifice be known of all, if their

success is certain, and the effect always irresistible.

Thus makeup is necessary to attract men in a way that almost tricks them

without them even knowing it. Baudelaire describes rice powder as

conceiling all of blemishes that nature delivers to women and

"creat[ing] an abstract unity of texture and colour in the skin," and

questions if woman then becomes a "divine or superior being." Black

eye pencils and rouge add to the dramatic effects of the colors of red

and black. The black gives women " a deeper and stranger look" and red

"gives to a woman's face the mysterious passion of a priestess."

Makeup is thus adding a divine or religious appeal to women due to its

degradation of nature. Baudelaire also states that makeup is not meant

to be applied naturally and should be used as a method of exhibition of

their beauty. Although Baudelaire does not describe the actions of

women in the section of makeup, he clearly praises women who wear makeup

because of their holy nature and uncriticalness.

Monet is able to express several emotions through his paintings,

particularly through the arrangement and the depiction of the subjects

in his work. In In The Conservatory, Manet focuses on the relationship

between the man and the woman. The woman is properly dressed with

buttons vertically lined up through her dress, thus constricting her

presense. She has a fixed gaze and is not looking at the man. Although

she is sitting comfortably, the woman has a rigid appearance. The man

is leaning over towards her and is dressed like a dandy. The

expressions on their faces and the way the man is leaning over the woman

and looking at her appears as though he is pleading for forgiveness or

attention. The rims of her eyes are red adding the possibility of her

crying and an emphasis is placed upon their hands, which both contain

wedding rings, suggesting that they are a married couple with problems.