Ways of Seeing Episode 2



  1. One of the main premises in this episode is Berger’s distinction between nakedness and the nude female form as it is traditionally represented in Western art. What are the differences between these things and why are these differences significant? Do they apply to images you have encountered in your experience?

According to Berger’s distinction  nakedness and the nude female form as it traditionally represented in western art because women were judged to see how they were looked. Berger discusses the concept of the female nakedness is to be one’s self and to be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for one’s self. Berger’s distinction is used to help make the argument that in order for a naked body to become a nude. The nude in European oil painting is usually presented as an ideal subject. It is said to be an expression of the European humanist spirit. I don’t think that they apply to images because such nakedness and the nude images are lined up by their painters for the pleasure of the male.

2.  According to Berger, how have Western works of art depicted and defined different roles for men and women? According to Berger, what is the significance of this? Do these depictions influence the ways we think of the differences between men’s and women’s roles in society today?

          The western work depicted and defined roles for men and women  as a superior and inferior in their presence. Women are treated as abstractions.In European oil painting where women were categorized as a subject to be a nude. Berger further illustrates European paintings of female nudes between the painter’s , owner’s and viewer’s individualism. He added men’s don’t have the same image of themselves or constant reflection or even men’s are not central in the European oil art. Berger believes that this inequality between men and women exists heavily in our society.  For instance, the beauty of women from the early age was portrayed through nude paintings emphasizing a woman’s body. Similarly, current advertisements still emphasize a woman’s beauty through their physical attributes. Men’s are depicted to be hard workers and providers for the family. Men’s are associated with strength  which automatically makes them superior. For example, older paintings or artwork depicts men in horses or in war. They are depicted with immense strength and are associated with the “provider” role for their family. Current advertisements might not emphasize directly their strength however, they are still shown to be the “provider” of the family. Advertisements usually depict women in the kitchen or laundry while men are frequently seen in car, construction, hardware goods advertisements. 

3. How does Berger describe the significance of the mirror in paintings depicting women? What does this object say about the ways beauty is defined in these paintings? What does Berger say about the depiction of the female gaze in the paintings he discusses? What kinds of more contemporary examples does he relate this to, and what significance does  he draw from these connections between older European art and depictions of women today?

 The mirror painting depicts women to look at herself  and it reminds them how they look and how they should look.According to Berger the significance of the mirror in painting is vanity to the women. In the oil European painting Suzanna seems to look at herself in the mirror, picturing herself as men see her. She sees herself first and foremost as a sight which means as a sight for men. Thus the mirror is a symbol of vanity of women yet the male hypocrisy in this blatant. Berger states the culture of privileged Europeans reinforced female nude, which depicted women as passive receptacles for the spectator’s sexual gaze. These did exist for the viewer’s projection of a fantasy. According to the Berger the paintings in film cannot be identified because they are so immensely exaggerated. Many painting shows are idealized and very unreal. 


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