Bordo vs. Berger essay number 3 rough draft.
In class we were assigned to compare and contrast Bordo’s and Berger’s essays. When I first hear this assignment I was freaking out. I had no idea of what I was going to write. I sat for a moment and tried to think it over. What do Berger’s and Bordo’s essays have in common? Bordo’s and Berger’s essays have a lot of things in common. First off they both talk about the ways of seeing things. They both talk about the way people interact with art and the history of both art and advertisements. Bordo and Berger may have written these essays at completely different times but they both show the same points. Berger wrote her essay in 1972 and Bordo wrote hers in 1999. A lot of things have changed since these essays were written and yet, they are kind of the same.
In Berger’s essay she writes “The way we experience things changes the way we see.” In Bordo’s essay she writes, “What we see changes our experience.” Is that not saying almost the same thing? Both Bordo and Berger talk about how times have changed. It is a dramatic change in the way society works since Berger wrote her essay. Back in 1972 when Berger wrote her essay we had to go to art museums to look at art. We would have to take a lot of time out of our days to travel somewhere to find out paintings and the meanings. In 1999, when Bordo wrote her essay, people had access to the internet.
Since Berger wrote her essay we have progressed in thousands of ways. The main way that we have progressed in is technology. People can be curious about something and just go on the internet and Google it. Back in the day people had to read books and research everything to find answers. The Internet has saved people a lot of time. We type something and press send. Automatically after we search something we have an answer. Time progresses rapidly. It is a matter of time that the internet will not be good enough. We will all need something better.
Although there is an extreme gap in time of when both essays were written, why are they both saying the same thing? Why do both Berger and Bordo state that the way we experience things changes the way we see? They both say the same thing because it can apply to both art and advertising. The way you experience things impacts everyone. According to Bordo, “Women have been deprived not so much of the sight of beautiful male bodies as the experience of having the male body offered to us…the way female bodies in the ads…are handed to men”(Bordo, 197). The way that males experience things are so much more different than the way females experience things. If women were as open as men are about checking out girls to men then we would have totally different experiences. For example, if you were to be at the model shoot when the advertisements photos were being shot you would have a completely different experience than if you were to pick up the magazine in a convenient store. In Berger’s essay he says stuff more deeply than Bordo. He gives examples about people who see the Mona Lisa up close compared to the people who see it in magazines. When people go to see the Mona Lisa they don’t expect it to be so small. They don’t expect it to be covered by bullet proof glass and surrounded by security guards. If someone were to be looking at the original Mona Lisa with all of the security around it there is no doubt whatsoever that they would have a different experience than people looking at it on the internet. Aren’t the way people see things and the experience of when they see things what is important? When Berger expresses in the beginning of her essay what she felt when she saw the Calvin Klein ad she basically laid out the meaning of “How we see things changes our experience”. In the beginning of her essay Bordo explains her experience of when she saw the advertisements by saying,” … interrupting my mundane but peaceful Sunday morning, and provoke me into erotic consciousness, whether I wanted it to or not wanted it”(Bordo, 189).
Although Bordo and Berger may have one of the same arguments, they both spend an abundance of the time talking about different things. Bordo spends a lot of time in her essay talking about how men and women’s advertisements have changed in the past few years. They have changed from fully clothed models to completely nude models. She also talks about how Calvin Klein changed the advertising world. In Berger’s essay he spends a majority of the time talking about reproduced paintings or drawings. The original paintings have extreme value compared to the reproduced paintings. Reproduced paintings make original paintings less valuable. All of the different subjects that both Berger and Bordo talk about go along with the next thing I am going to talk about, How images are used and by whom.
Images are used by everyone. If you walk into the mall all you see are advertisements. On the wall of every store there is a picture of a model showing all of the clothing from the store off. Models and advertisements are all related to Bordo’s essay. When you walk into someone’s house they usually have a painting or a large piece of art hanging on their living room wall. The art goes along with Berger’s essay. Both Berger and Bordo have many places that they can give examples about advertisements and art. Advertisements and art are a part of life. Berger and Bordo give many examples of how images are used and by whom. In Berger’s essay he states that “the photographer’s way of seeing is reflected in his choice of subject. The painter’s way of seeing is reconstituted by the marks he makes on his canvas paper”(Berger, 142). Images are used by both painters and photographers. The way they use the paintings holds their keys to success. The way people use the images and see the images all affect their experience with art.
If you read both Berger’s and Bordo’s essays back to back you will realize how much both have in common and how much they differentiate. They both show benefits of change and how things stay the same throughout history. Inspiring and deep essays like these all have teachings that they would love everyone to listen to. They would all like us to reach further into our minds and find out the true meanings of art, advertisements, and even things in our everyday lives. Our days are filled with mystery and wonder. We need to go out and discover new things by using deeper ways of thinking and different ways of seeing. Both Berger and Bordo teach a lot about how to see things. It is just the matter of will to be able to use the experiences that we have to see things in different ways.