The moments portrayed takes the viewer through life as Norman Rockwell sees it, while avoiding the imperfections of the real world. The ideals of Freedom of Speech stretch to every corner of the United States. The Constitution claims that all people are free to speak their minds. However the voices of those who appear unintelligent, impoverished, or even simply dressed are generally looked over and buffed out. In Rockwell’s world, that is not the case. The captivating piece, “Freedom of Speech,” illuminates its own name.
The man appears in a crowd of highly important and affluent individuals who are dressed up, while he remains in a worn jacket and flannel. His face is drawn upward, hopeful, and speaking. Those who surround him are listening, really listening. This man’s scruffy appearance is ignored and goes unnoticed while his voice touches almost everyone in the painting, creating an awe-inspiring effect which covers the crowed as well as the observer. In this piece he takes us to a place where all voices are deemed equal. Religion is a continuous war that seems to never cease; every religion believes they are correct.
With true Freedom of Religion, there is no war. Rockwell transports us to a world where people are practicing their right to worship in harmony; each praying differently than their neighbor without any concern at all. Eyes are relaxed and faces are softly set. Every man and women directs their gaze intently in whichever direction they desire. Peace is etched into each face,and a feeling of contentment blankets the scene. This painting captures an arguably impossible moment, but convinces the observer that it could be real.
Rockwell believes that religious freedom can be obtained and that somewhere, it existed for a moment; just long enough for him to paint. Children’s personalities are impossible to capture in a single painting. Rockwell shows us in numerous pieces how they play together while they run, skip, jump, and experience the outdoors. He also shows us how adolescence is lost in their imaginary worlds; pretty dresses and pretty girls seem to be the only thing on their minds. Underlining everything is innocence and purity.
Now, walking around the playground is more barren than a cemetery. The only dates teens seem to go on are to get high or straight to the bedroom. In the numerous growing up paintings, such as, “Collage of American Childhood,” and, “After the Prom,” children are shown how they should be; carefree and simple. Rockwell removes all distraction of technology or sexual desire from his pieces, and captures the pure, rare moments of kid’s lives. Whether Rockwell’s ideas correlate with, “real-life,” America is not important; what the world saw through his eyes is just as valid.
Rockwell chose to remove all the flaws of the world and focus on a few beautiful, raw moments. While Alice, stuck in her wonderland states that, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. ” Rockwell chose the opposite, nonsense free. The pieces he created help observers understand how simple life could be, and remind how nice that simplicity feels. More importantly, Norman Rockwell engrains hope into those who take the time to appreciate his work; hope that maybe these beautiful moments could wipe out the madness that underlines the world, and become reality.