“She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking into the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from the root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation” (16).
Hurston Zora Neale. “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. New York. Harper Collins Publisher. 1990. Print.
We get a sense of enlightenment from Janie who is beginning her new revelation and Hurston uses language that is filled with romanticism and deeper desire to explore the beauty and spiritualism within the world. Janie is ready to become a woman who wants to experience the idea of love for the first time and pictures the embrace between the flower and the bee to symbolize two people who are sharing the same desire.
“Consider the matter from a scientific or a metaphysical point of view, and you will find that I am right. For what is Nature? Nature is no great mother who has borne us. She is our creation. It is in our brain that she quickens to life. Things are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the Arts that have influenced us. To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing. One does not see anything until one sees its beauty. Then, and then only, does it come into existence.”
Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of Lying.” In Intentions. New York: Brentano’s, 1905. page 40-41. Internet
This idea that nature is our creation, and not the other way around, really blew my mind. It makes complete sense on so many levels. I find it particularly relevant to my studies at the moment as I’m taking a class on Sensation and Perception, and have been spending a great deal of time contemplating how we perceive the world around us. How much of it is a construct of our mind, and how much, if any, is a universal reality? While I’d been thinking that one of the most important factors that push us to certain perceptions are our life experiences , I can see how Art appears to be a large, if not the largest, subset of those experiences. This was a fantastic reading!
“People tell us that Art makes us love Nature more than we loved her before; that it reveals her secrets to us; and that after a careful study of Corot and Constable we see things in her that had escaped our observation. My own experience is that the more we study Art, the less we care for Nature. What Art really reveals to us is Nature’s lack of design, her curious crudities, her extraordinary monotony, her absolutely unfinished condition… It is fortunate for us, however, that Nature is so imperfect, as otherwise we should have had no art at all. Art is our spirited protest, our gallant attempt to teach Nature her proper place… It resides in the imagination, or fancy, or cultivated blindness of the man who looks at her”
Oscar Wilde The Decay of Lying in Intentions. , London, Methuen & Co. (1913) page 3-4.
Vivian reveals an interesting view of Art vs. Nature. People normally argue that Nature reveals its beauty to inspire art; however, Vivian argues that Art covers Nature’s imperfection and creates beauty through imagination. Nature is perfected through the inspiration of vivid imagination creating Art.