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The Cider House Rules

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The Cider House Rules

The movie, The Cider House Rules, contains many different themes and elements that could have been interpreted several different ways depending on the person and their distinct preference. Some themes that are present within the movie include the dilemma of abortion, the destiny of oneself, and other minor themes. These others which are spoken of, are not necessarily main themes, but none-the-less remain pertinent and relevant to the way a movie-goer views this film. The debate was once dwelled upon in class concerning the appropriateness or the so-called necessity of certain portions of the film. These certain portions to which are being referred are as follows: first, the sex scene in the woods; and second, the nudity of Charlize Theron in a later scene. So what do these particular scenes, displaying nudity and sexual references, add to the film? Is it for mere pleasure's sake that Charlize is revealed to the audience? Or is there a deeper meaning behind such a scene? I would argue to anyone that there truly is a deeper meaning behind such a scene.

Nudity in artwork has been occurring since a very early time. Ancient and more recent art has all contained some elements of sex and nudity. Are all men this twisted to portray the human form in its bare state? Or is there a point behind the revealing of the human figure? During the 6th Century, the ancient Greeks created several pieces of sculpture that lacked clothing, but not meaning. The purpose of the Greek nude art was to praise and almost glorify the perfection of the human form. Grecian art was called Classical art because of the main fact that they were obsessed with not nudity, but with the idealism that is present in everything. During that time, Polyclitus wrote the Canon, which defined to artists the measurements and proportions of the human figure. By giving the artists these measurements, the Greeks hoped to achieve idealism and perfection in all of their present and future artwork.

Indeed the Greeks reason for using the naked figure of a human in art covers only one purpose that exists. One of the other reasons for nude art was demonstrated during the 17th Century by several artists. One of the artists that stood out and exemplified the use of nudity in painting was Manet. Manet painted many different pieces, but there is one that clearly illustrates the use of nudity to convey meaning to the viewer. This painting, called Luncheon on the Grass, depicts a woman sitting in a public park eating a picnic lunch with two gentlemen. This seems like a perfectly normal and maybe even a boring painting, except for the fact that the woman in the park is completely naked. Questions immediately come to mind about the painting and about the standards of the creator. Why would Manet paint a woman without any clothing? Was he purely trying to excite passion and lust? Or was he trying to arouse some deeper emotion within the observer? If He was making a point beyond the superficial and material, was the use of nudity completely necessary or appropriate?

Manet's use of nude art was definitely not intended to excite arousal or lust in the mind of the viewer. The purpose of the woman's presence in the painting and her lack of clothing was intended to make the observer think deeply. The woman's nakedness was not meant to show her superficial lack of clothing, but her being unashamed of her eating with these to strangers in the park. It also shows that she is being very naпve by being completely open with these men that she has just met. Manet use the nudity to express these ideas of being unashamed and being completely open. He cannot create the same painting absent of nudity and coerce the same direction of thought. A fully clothed woman does not develop the same conclusion that was first intended by Manet.

In Classical art and in Renaissance art, nudity was relevant and useful to the expression of the idea that the creator was trying to convey. Time has not changed the relevance or usefulness of nude art. First, it must be stated that all nude art is not acceptable.



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