Can images and literature impact individuals? Most individuals spend little time considering the weight bestowed upon them as they age into adulthood. With the heavy weight of newly realized responsibilities, the mind forges itself into a miserable version of what it once was. One enjoys themselves as a child, but as they age into adulthood, fun takes a backseat. That’s why society forces individuals to believe. Children are able to understand the meaning of words by seeing them vividly depicted on paper as images. As adults, art is no longer a necessity, works of literature accompanied by pictures become obsolete.
Scott McCloud, a comic theorist illustra importance of both image and literature as individuals’ age; he emphasizes the constant distance both devices face throughout major works and points out the issue that lies beneath that. However, the art of images could be the ultimate stress relief for individuals who fail to give it any attention. McCloud validates that without images in literature, the story won’t be as compelling. Without beautiful or mind boggling images, adults won’t ever be able to escape a stressful life momentarily and without play time, adults will continue to worry about the less important things in life.
Images and literatures play an important role in the stress level of individuals in today’s society. Both devices allow adults to liberate themselves from life’s hardships. In order to understand the true meaning of a stress free life, adults need to look toward creative outlets. Most working individuals endure stressful environments that lack abstract thinking and rely solely on repetition; depriving them from forming a creative mind. However, children are faced with the burden of having to leave behind artistic expressions and enter a more reading intensive world.
This occurs as a result of society stigmatizing art as being childish and an unrealistic career path. In a section of Scott McCloud’s graphic essay, “Show and tell” he illustrates an image with a boy and his friend and, above the image McCloud states, “It’s considered normal in this society for children to combine words and pictures, so long as they grow out of it” (McCloud, 739). To a kid drawing comes naturally. Most kids draw to express themselves and release whatever thoughts they are processing on to paper. They are able to illustrate to the world what exactly it is they’re thinking and what they want the world to understand.
This constant release of emotions allows for a balanced lifestyle; emotions are not pushed aside until they become unbearable, instead emotions are dealt with as they are felt through artistic mediums. Grown-ups need the same emotional balance. Recently drawing books have been created for adults. Now, ost people look at the concept and assume it’s a childish endeavor. According to the article “Coloring Books for Existential Angst”, a study that was conducted in 2012 illustrates that partaking in artistic activities that include coloring mandalas reduces anxiety by an enormous amount.
Since coloring allows kids to free their inner selves, it should do the same for adults. Along with the stressful life of constantly dealing with others and having to think, being able to escape the reality of the stress is helpful for everyone. The Washington Post states, “In her day job, working with children of military families, Mucklow relies on free-form drawing to coax behavior change and uses templates if needed to calm traumatized patients” (Coloring books for grown-ups can ease stress and calm one’s inner child, The Washington Post, Berl).
The use of art to calm the mind is an important reason why most individuals need to realize that art and images are not childish demeanors but temporary stress relievers. As Scott McCloud mentions in a disapproving tone; children are inflicted with the idea that they have to give up their artistic abilities as they become older. The idea of pursuing art seems somewhat taboo or forbidden. However, as the kids are merging out of their artistic ways, adults are growing accustomed to those ways because of the ability it has to release the mind of all the stress and anxiety that comes with a normal life.
Scott McCloud incorporates the idea that most kids are faced with the reality that pictures in reading slowly begin to decrease as they get older which makes them accept the reality that reading books with images is juvenile. As individuals age into adulthood, they become more serious and restrain themselves from having fun because they believe that they are disregarding what their maturity level and responsibilities dictate. In “Show and tell”, McCloud affirms that a kid reading a book filled with pictures and words is ideal because it allows the child to thoroughly grasp the underlying concepts of the book.
As that individual age into a teenager very few images are in books. In the picture illustrated by McCloud, the little kid looks very happy and curious and the teenager looks confused and lost (McCloud, 740). He looks very unhappy reading a book with little to no images. In the final image an elder is present, reading a book containing no images. The individual presented looks like he’s trying to interpret the meaning behind the book; not exactly sure of what’s going on. Scott McCloud mentions that there are barely any individuals left that even read today (McCloud, 740).
Being able to escape the real world allows individuals to be able to escape the stress they’re feeling. According to Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist, playing is an important aspect of life. He defines “play” as the ability to clown around and the ability to explore one’s inner child. Brown states “It’s all around us, yet goes unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing” (Tartakovsky, 2015). Brown refers to the ability to play as an event that involves art, music, speaking to another, and simply laughing. Most adults disembark from these activities as they are posed with the stress of a job and raising a family.
McCloud focuses primarily on the decrease interest in reading. The trend strings from multiple reasons, one being that individuals are focused on their life rather than actually living it. Most people enjoy reading, drawing, and listening to music, however, they will simply shy away from these events because they’re busy doing things that they believe allows them to sustain a proper life. No one attempts to focus on how happy they are but rather on how much money they have. Even though money is an integral part of life, it should not be the focal point because when overwhelming emphasis is put on this, it ultimately leads to anxiety.
Brown constantly mentions the importance of happiness and joy. Most individuals deprive themselves of these traits, which causes stress and unhappiness. No one has time to read books anymore, nonetheless read books with pictures. It’s a childish act believed to waste time. Most individuals are busy and spend most of their day working and doing things to support their family. Most college students spend all day reading, studying, and cramming for that big exam, wasting time stressing about the life they aren’t enjoying.
McCloud illustrates that as a person ages’, reading becomes a passive activity that no one pays mind too. Many believe that reading isn’t the most important thing, so it shouldn’t be given all the attention that McCloud gives it. However, a study conducted by Mindlab International at the University of Sussex demonstrates that reading decreases stress by 68% (Telegraph, 2009). By reading alone, an individual is able to escape the reality they might not be too fond of and wind down. People fail to see the importance of the little things in life like reading, painting, going to art exhibits and just simply living.
Society trains the mind to stop being happy because happiness means that life is taken as a joke and that cannot be the case if success is to be attained. Scott McCloud wants the readers of his graphic essay to see the importance of images; not as a source of childish mishap but as a source of enjoyment and laughter. He wants the reader to view the world of comic as a variation of sounds, words and art. All those devices allow people to escape from the real world and carve stories within the sanctuary of their own mind which, ultimately leads to stress relief and pleasure.
Reading can vindicate the insanity in individuals by allowing a sort of escape from the world of responsibilities and nervous tension. As people age, they begin to think that the only meaning in life is to make money and support a family. Most of these individuals age forgetting to live life. They fail to see the bigger picture of life. McCloud illustrates that throughout comics, the importance of combining pictures with words creates the balance that is seen through the work. The two devices mesh and facilitate an understanding that goes beyond merely looking at a picture or reading an isolated text.
This is a keen representation of life; in order to have a stable life an individual should spend time escaping from their life and finding something that ultimately makes them happy. Though McCloud constantly points out the fact that images are very important in the world of literature, he constantly reminds the readers of the importance of finding a balance in everything. He constantly reminds the reader that both literature and imagery need each other in order to produce an ultimate piece of work. This illustrates the balance that everyone needs to find throughout his or her life.