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The Gravity of Birds
"A complex web of jealousy and heartache." - O, The Oprah Magazine
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Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

Created: 08/18/13

Replies: 8

Posted Aug. 18, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things—not just at things, but at people and at places—in a way other than they normally would. To expose what's hidden below the surface." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they ormally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bonnieb

Join Date: 09/11/11

Posts: 89

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RE: Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

The paintings of the Kesslers was a disturbing one. It showed Thomas having an intimacy with both Alice and Natalie that was not appropriate. It also showed the anger and rage just below the surface in Natalie and the intensity and intelligence in Alice. Both, however, are touching Thomas in ways that affect the viewer in a distressing way. Thomas achieves this by the expressions on faces, the placement of people and their hands, along with how they are looking at things.


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Violetta

Join Date: 06/10/11

Posts: 7

RE: Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

I agree with bonnieb's comment above...well put.


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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rosannes

Join Date: 01/29/13

Posts: 21

RE: Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

I don't think the paintings were disturbing. I think that Thomas wasn't trying to pit sister against sister. I think he just didn't think period. He only cared about himself and his needs and desires. The paintings were almost like his diary documenting events.


Posted Sep. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

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RE: Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

I think Thomas understood the sisters and showed that in the paintings. I do not think he knew Natalie was as evil as she turned out to be. I didn't understand why he didn't try to find his daughter or Alice instead of being a recluse. He found the means to find them in the end, why didn't he try sooner?


Posted Sep. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

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RE: Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

The book said the painting was disturbing, but I didn't really understand why. I suppose the expressions on their faces would make a difference and the colors used. I wonder if the painting would have the same effect if the viewer didn't know anything about anyone in the portrait. I would like to see the painting, then I could tell!


Posted Sep. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 27

RE: Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

The expressions on the sister's faces. Was it sexuality, hatred? The reality of the hands, the truth of aging and disease. The details in the painting, seeing something different every time the viewer looks at it. A puzzle, the secrets. It is hard to explain this painting without seeing it and just going on description. As the novel stated, " Thomas's true talent, Finch had realized long ago, was the ability to make the viewer squirm."


Posted Sep. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 31

RE: Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

Because he was involved with both sisters intimately he painted both of those connections in his work of art. Although it seems he cared little about either girl, the author does reveal to the reader some sense of affection towards Alice. The reader wasn't made aware of the connection between him and Natalie. Certainly there were hints (foreshadowing) but still the revelations later in the story come as a surprise! I didn't see it coming, did you? Was he giving Alice a clue when he spoke those words to her? If you really look, you might see how things are! Obviously, Natalie caught on sooner. But she wasn't as innocent as Alice.

Did he paint to absolve his guilt? Or was it for a more selfish motivation? Why did he split the panels up? What was the motivation in searching for the pieces? How much did he know when he created the "masterpiece" he kept from society and the sisters?


Posted Sep. 17, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 22

RE: Thomas tells Alice that the job of an artist is "to make people look at things in a way other than they normally would." How does Thomas achieve this in his paintings of the Kesslers?

I got the impression that the painting evolved over time, but then again I could be wrong. I felt the panels were an addition, an extension of the original, and as the girls lives changed the painting changed. Maybe seeing things in way other than normal is the same as Alice watching birds. She said that she loved it because she looked for things you wouldn't normally see.


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