Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tom Phillips' A Humument (p.305)

On page 305 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips creates the idea of solitude. He does this by placing “toge”, the only person on the image next to a window, which suggests the feeling of loneliness. The words around the image create a melancholy atmosphere; Phillips’ use of simplistic diction makes it easier for the audience to understand the purpose: the lost of a love one may result into isolating one self.

The image clearly indicates that the person in it is waiting for someone. Phillips placed the person next to the window to create the idea of loneliness. The person is also sitting on a chair which demonstrates how he/she spend most of the time waiting, waiting, and waiting. “A Human Document” like Phillips calls his book, demonstrates stages of a human being life. This image, in particular, demonstrates the stage of when you lose that special someone: the stage of isolation. The image also indicates the upcoming of age. Human beings, towards their middle age, began to feel melancholy for the past. Either the lost of someone, the lost of dreams, isolation is what most feel at that certain age. This is what Phillips is trying to convey.

Phillips incorporates words in the image. When reading it, the words create a melancholy atmosphere. With the help of the image, both create what Phillips is trying to convey: isolation. When looking at the image itself, the audience gets a clear understanding of loneliness, and the poem adds up to his purpose. The tone plays an important role in the purpose because it emphasizes melancholy. Melancholy for those who did not make it to your future; Melancholy for the things you lost; Melancholy for being alone. The connection between the image and the poem create the effect of solitude.

The simplistic diction use in the poem work effectively for the purpose of the image. The audience can easily understand the poet’s purpose. Phillips begins the poem with “only/toge alone”. The word “toge” is being detached from the actual word “together” creating the idea that “toge” is a person who lost his/her partner and now remains “alone”. Further more; Phillips mentions the word “loneliness” along with the word “watch”, suggesting that time passes and loneliness is all that is left for that person. Phillips then adds that there are two things left to the person in the image, “first/ my/ viola/ the other thing/ Your image/ I cannot get rid of it”. With this in mind, the audience can come to the conclusion that the person in the image is talking about the lost of a lover. The role of the “viola” symbolizes slow, romantic music, which contributes to the mood of the poem; melancholy. And the image that the person cannot get rid of, demonstrates a heartbroken waiting for that special one to come back.

In overall, everything continues to link to the placement of the image. Phillips carefully chose everything to fall in together. First, isolating the person next to the window indicates the wait for hope, the key role of the word “toge” being detached from the actual word “together” and placing it next to “alone”, making a synonymous and antonym clashed together. The title also connects everything together, “A Human Document” meaning that is documenting how the life of a human being works, recording every stage of it. The way Phillips chose to place the words in the image. He began with a simple quote on top of the image, following it with the key word “loneliness” which flows back below to where the person states that there are only two things left in life; music and memories. At the end, the atmosphere created by Phillips continues to be melancholy.

On page 305 of A Humument by Tom Phillips, suggest the unfortunate idea of facing solitude. With the help of a simple image, simplistic diction, and a melancholy tone, Phillips effectively delivers his purpose to the audience. The stage of solitude brings back memories, makes a person wanting to live again in the past hoping for the future to bring back what the past once had. Phillips wants the audience to relate to his image because at some point of life, every human being will face solitude.

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