Creator Title Emotional Sum (Sense of Life or emotional World View) Theme
Domenichino: Head of a Bearded Man

Pensive, worried, detached qualities of humanity

Worry is the way of the world.

Miron - Parish: Tzena Tzena Tzena

Joyous celebration

Joyous celebration

Architect: Louis Sullivan National Farmers' Bank

Being able to breath freely -- expansively, and feeling that there are no limits to what man can do.

The world is expansively, infinitely rich.

Painter: Ettore Tito La Gomena (Towing a Boat)

There is great effort in life, and a woman can be the master of it. This painting is a curious combination of romantic heroism and 19th century genre naturalism. It has a visual dynamism and dramatic content that is strongly romantic, yet the subject is the prosaic task of pulling a boat out of the water.

The will and the power of a woman. Implacable determination.

Painter: Emil Carlsen The Samovar

The world is full of textural richness worth looking at.

The richness of light and the objects it caresses.  This is a paean to the richness of visual experience, but with the simplest of materials -- just a light source and two kinds of simple unadorned objects.

Author: John Steinbeck East of Eden

Life is filled with great and important choices.

The battle between good and evil, guilt and innocence. Takes the position that we are influenced by many things, but ultimately we have free will.

Rand, Ayn: Anthem

The book starts out psychologically dark and disorienting because of the protagonist struggling with the radically collectivist world he was born into. But what shows even in the early pages, and grows to the climax is the triumphant struggle of a rare few who break free of the yoke of total mind control and become free to live a life as a conceptual human and rediscover what it means to be an individual. Thrilling and emotionally satisfying (unless the reader is a committed determinist.)

Ego and using one's individual mind is the core of being human.

Painter: Thomas Wilmer Dewing Comedia

Life is sumptuous and beautiful and alive.

Feminine vivacity and gaiety

Director: Carroll Ballard Black Stallion

Everything is possible between boy and beast, between an innocent human and mother nature.

Man and nature in harmony. At least this is the theme of the first half of the movie. See "Description" and "Context" info below for more on this comment.

Sculptor: Pio Fedi Rape of Polyxena, The

Strength and complex beauty are central. Vitality, passion and action are hallmarks of this work.

Life is complex strife, entwined with strong god-like characters.

Director: Hugh Hudson Greystoke

Life is Loss -- life is grim and culture is grim and the jungle is grim. All is grim.

The other important feature of the film emotionally is that Tarzan has been crippled by his circumstances of being brought up in the jungle -- he cannot live as a man, so the great tragedy of the story is that he has to return to the jungle, which is below primitive -- it is an isolated hell in which death is at every corner, and at best the companionship of apes. Given that the story partly portrays civilized men as brutes who relish killing animals, perhaps the emotional intent is to make the choice to return to the jungle as positive, but for this reviewer it is unutterably tragic and ugly.

Loss, Loss, Loss. Man as metaphysically alien from human culture.

Shute, Nevil: Landfall

Heroes and Heroines are self-made, by anyone at any level of intelligence who seriously pursues what is important in their lives.

Truth will triumph -- with perseverance.

Maugham, W. Somerset: Of Human Bondage

Life is a fearful gray spread of actions and in-actions without genuine values. We are all deformed in mind or spirit and should accept convention as demanded by those around us.

Man's life is outside his control. Conventionality is the final ideal.

Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House

The world is open and has sweeping, unending possibilities.

The essence of a house as shelter, and providing a sense of strength and privacy. That is, a structure that exudes strength through its massive cantilever and massive brick and stone forms, along with its big overhangs sheltering the windows to create a sense of privacy and enclosure, in its urban situation.

Director: Hugh Hudson Chariots of Fire

A complete feeling of openness of the world to greatness of your own choosing.

Life is achievement.

Director: John McTiernan Die Hard

The way to beat evil is to give no quarter, no compromise. Life is hard, but fighting for the right is rewarded.

Giving up in life is not an option.

Composer: Lerner and Loewe Camelot

One must attempt to live by values, even though virtue is powerless and hopeless.

Camelot: a medieval place of goodness and justice, and its inevitable failure.

Architect: Unknown Burgos Cathedral Crossing

God is order and reason and light.

The spirit of god is rational, uplifting and rich in detail

Rodin, Auguste: Shade, The

Life is a gruesome trial. There is no hope.

The world destroys man. (Some unknown evil force is destroying this young strong man.) Given that the sculpture is titled as a "Shade" and is related to the Group sculpture "Gates of Hell", one can presume the evil is some unnamed condition that can overpower life and cause destruction of the good.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones Rob Roy

Life is a struggle. The life you make for yourself can be difficult, but living it with strength and morality is the way to live. Happiness is possible in romance.

Heroism in everyday life leads to heroism writ large. A man works hard to lead his life and those of his extended clan in an honorable, productive, honest way. This is the everyday heroism. But dishonorable, evil men seek to steal from him and ruin him. This leads to a life of larger-than-life heroism to vanquish his mortal, and stronger enemies.

Director: Andrew Stanton Wall-E

The world is garbage, and more garbage and humans have destroyed the earth, because of their wanton consumerism.

Mankind is a blight on the universe, and only cute robots (as opposed to evil robots) can save the earth from human degradation.

Dancers: Torvill and Dean Bolero

Harmony, grace exist.

Two people as one.

Director: Oliver Stone Wall Street

There are bad people in power who use ordinary people as pawns in their endless pursuit of money. Those who are not ruthless are sheep to be slaughtered by the rich and powerful. Greed is bad.

Financiers are amoral money-grubbing backstabbers, i.e., desire for money corrupts

Author: Emma Lazarus The New Colossus

Benevolent celebration of liberty as a beacon to a troubled world.

A marvelous land of liberty offers welcome to the oppressed of the world.

Author: Phyllis Brett Young Psyche

Optimistic, Hopeful, even under terrible circumstances.

We are beings of self-made soul