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Freedom Of Speech In Norman Rockwell's 'Four Freedoms'

Decent Essays
First Amendment “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” That was a quote by Voltaire, a French enlightenment thinker who was famous for his advocacy of free speech. During a time when the Catholic church often rejected and persecuted those whose opinions were not congruent with its beliefs, Voltaire went against the Church and adamantly encouraged individuals to freely express their thoughts and feelings. A similar level of passion for the right of the freedom of speech can be found in Norman Rockwell’s painting, Freedom of Speech done in 1943. This painting was the first in a series of paintings done by Rockwell called the Four Freedoms. The Four Freedoms series was inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt in a State of the Union address. The government later…show more content…
Large, dominating, and firmly grasping the wooden pew, the hands are very important. The central character's hands are shaded much darker than the rest of his body and they look to be wrinkled and cracked. The shading technique used on the hands suggest that this individual is a working class man. This idea is backed up by the fact that the man is wearing a shirt with an actual blue collar. In and of themselves blue collar shirts are not that special or important, but working class men are often characterized as blue collar workers and in the picture the man is wearing a blue collar. Also, the man is wearing a tattered jacket that is shaded. This implies that he has had the coat for a while and has worked long and hard hours in this coat, further supporting the idea that this man in the painting is a working class man. Now, the image of a working class man alone is not that incredible, as many people can identify as belonging to the working class or being a blue collar worker themselves. It is not the fact that the man is working class that makes this image so iconic, but it is who he is
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