April 2019 archive

English 11 – Iconic Image –


I chose this image due to it’s visually appealing nature, caused by it’s use of colors and composition. The overwhelming amount of red that is used in this image can represent both violence and romance. The pose of the model and her lack of wardrobe pushes the image towards a feeling of romance. The model is placed in the middle of the frame, and is the contrast of color so that the eye is drawn to her. This image could be important, because it is recognized by many, and it seems to carry an import message of how sexuality can impact one’s life.

This image was shot by director, Sam Mendez, to reveal the symbolism of roses in the film. He uses the color red, to represent sexuality, rebellion, and transcendence. These three things are represented through characters in the film. Throughout the film, red also symbolizes the essence of life, and also the color of blood. In the film, this is seen to be true, as in the beginning of the film, the main character associates his new love interest with roses which are red, but at the end of the film, he is seen lying in a pool of his own blood, with roses behind him. In this film, roses are seen as a superficial extravagance, as they are something commonly obtained, although they are more expensive than other flowers. Much like this, in the film, the door to their house is painted red, while the inside is quite dull, showing how their lives are too are only superficial extravagance. This is important to the image, because it is the reason for it. The main character is bored with his life, and this young girl becomes his escape out of his everyday ways, however, she, much like the roses, is only superficial.

My life is a sky of grey
A rain cloud providing shade.
A never-ending highway, next stop: nowhere.
I dream of someday.

Like a vision of a daydream
She stood in front of me
The key to unlock my American dream
A beauty.

My life that once seized to exist was now born,
She was the reason I felt free,
My highway now had signs,
Next stop: somewhere.

The roses that my perfect wife once grew,
Now belonged to her.
The thorns that once guarded them,
Seemed to blow away.

With that great wind, the clouds left my life too.
The sun shined bright, no longer an artificial light,
The roses grew true,
And bloomed greater than before.

She was the roses,
She was superficial elegance,
She was my better life.
But when I came close to cutting the perfect rose from it’s stem.

My highway had come to an end.
Next stop:

For this poem, I chose to use the reptition of “She was..” to show how much that the young girl had meant to the main character in the film. I also chose to leave the last stanza with only two lines, rather than four, as in the film, his life came abruptly to an end. I also used personification for, “..the roses grew true”, as his life was no longer fake to him, and it had fond a purpose. Throughout the poem, the rhyme scheme changes, and looses it’s flow, as much like in the film, there were bumps in the road towards that main characters goal of being with the young girl. However, he came back into the flow of his path after these bumps, much like the rhyme scheme in the poem.

Works Cited:

American Beauty. Dir. Sam Mendes. By Alan Ball. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch. DreamWorks SKG, 1999. Film.

Exchange, Stack. “What Did the Color Red Symbolize in ‘American Beauty’?” Movies & TV Stack Exchange, Stack Exchange, 14 July 2014, movies.stackexchange.com/questions/76281/what-did-the-color-red-symbolize-in-american-beauty.