Analysis Of Edward Hopper's House By The Railroad

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Edward Hopper’s painting, House by the Railroad, portrays an abandoned, Victorian-styled mansion built adjacent to a railroad. Hopper depicts the lonely state of the house by emphasizing the shading of the house, colors, architectural design, and placement. In the poem, Edward Hirsch emphasizes the houses’s “emotions” through the usage of personification, diction and metaphors. Hirsch’s personification of the house provides us insight on how the house is feeling. For instance, he describes the physical appearance of the house by using words like “strange, gawky house”(142) and “faded cafeteria windows”(143). By examining his choice of words, we can visualize the extent of how unappealing and out-of-place the house appears in comparison to other…show more content…
Personification allows the readers to see the world from the house’s persepctive, helping them relate to the house on a personal level. Unlike Hirsch, who directs most of his focus towards the emotional state of the house, Hopper uses indirect forms of communication(e.g. shading, color, shapes and atmosphere) to help readers draw inferences about the house. For instance, the shadow casting the house sets a depressing mood for the painting. The darkness overshadowing the brightness implies that the house attracts no one despite its desire for visitors. Hopper’s emphasis on the shadow sets the mood for the picture, allowing us to visualize the depressing aura of the house. In addition, the house’s dull colors suggest that people’s aesthetic preferences have changed throughout time. Hopper’s choice of color implies that people overlook the house and its qualities, leaving the house abandoned and uncared for. Lastly, Hopper portrays the house in a very isolated atmosphere, drawing attention to its awkwardness. Hopper intended to make the house appear lonely and abandoned because he wanted to draw attention to the emotional burden that change can have on
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