In the essay Pablo Picasso: Living in His Own Shadow, author Ellen Goodman uses fact, emotion and personal experience to illustrate the cycles of creating and aging, living in the limelight and passing on the torch. Goodman captures the sadness and the beauty of being replaced or falling out of fame while using Picasso and his works as an example of how even the most talented of persons must succumb to limitation. Goodman makes a point that some artists graciously recognize when it is time to cease their works but others persist despite the fact that their prime has passed. According to Goodman, Pablo Picasso represents the limitations in which we all must recognize but also the beauty in rebellion and persistence.
Goodman juxtaposes Picasso against many famous people who like Picasso grew old and eventually had to admit that they could no longer perform at peak performance. â€œIt is said that when Picasso was a teenager, his artist-father gave the boy his own palette, brushers and colors, and never painted again, (LoRocco & Coughlin, 1995, p. 198).â€ This actually seems to be factual. When Picasso was 13-years-old his father gave up painting admitting that his son had surpassed him in skill, (Pablo Picasso, n.d.).
It is interesting that Goodman introduced the essay using this example considering the entire essay is about artists and well known figures who did not step out of the spotlight when their time was due. Â â€œWe feel sad that Joe DiMaggio sells coffee makers and uncomfortable that Willie Mays â€˜stayed too long.â€™ Few of us know how to deal with the man or woman who â€˜used to beâ€™ somebody, (LoRocco & Coughlin, p. 199).â€
Goodman describes her personal feelings when reviewing Picassoâ€™s work at an art exhibit. She states that although Picasso was an exceptional artist at every age his later work is lacking in many ways. Goodman uses her observations to express sympathy toward Picasso as opposed to disdain for his later works. â€œYet as we wandered through the last thirty years of his life, you could see it all slip. The exhibit kindly excludes the commercial peace doves and greeting card poster art of the last few years. But still, it is easy to see the versatility turning frenetic â€“ the search turning downhill. There is even a sense that perhaps he began to imitate himself â€“ not just create but to create â€˜Picasso,â€™ (LoRocco & Coughlin, p. 198).â€
In essence Goodman shows contempt for Joe DiMaggio and Willie Mays yet for Picasso Goodman expresses a sense of being perplexed and full of wonder, similar to her response to other artists including Frank Sinatra and Tennessee Williams. â€œIt is something I have thought before. Iâ€™ve though of it whenever Tennessee Williams turns up in the news, alive but rarely well, writing poorly in comparison to his own brilliant retrospectives. Iâ€™ve thought of it when Frank Sinatra goes on stage, all blue eyes and strained vocal cords. They are pale versions of themselves, (LoRocco & Coughlin, p. 198).â€
But was Picasso a â€œpale versionâ€ of himself? According to Goodman there was a sense of grace and rebellion in the fact that Picasso worked until his death. â€œThere is something, not sad but remarkable, in this refusal to â€˜act his age,â€™ or retire gracefully. Surrounded by his own collection of his favorite cubist work, he must have known his limits. But out of compulsion or conviction he kept working.â€
It is true that Picasso worked rigorously until his death. â€œDeath holds no fear for me,â€™ Picasso recently told a friend. â€˜It holds a kind of beauty. What I am afraid of is falling ill and not being able to work. Thatâ€™s lost time, (Time, 1973, Â¶ 1).â€ Picasso, as opposed to Mays and DiMaggio, did not work to make extra funds doing something which reminds us of their failing talents, like sell coffeemakers, Picasso worked to work. He created for the enjoyment of creating.
His final work may have been pale in comparison to the masterpieces of his youth but as Goodman points out everything in life pales in comparison with youth. â€œLiving in your own shadow is a problem of aging athletes and beautiful women and artists and actors and, to an extent, all of us, (LoRocco & Coughlin, 1995, p. 198).â€
Goodmanâ€™s experience at the exhibit for Picassoâ€™s art left her contemplating what it would be like to find oneself living in a world where the past constantly haunts the present. She expresses the sadness of this by using examples of other artists and athletes who have made history and then faced limitations. But living with ones past is part of life and the limitations associated with aging do not have to be stifling. â€œCreation,â€™ Picasso said. â€˜Is the only thing that interests me, (LoRocco & Coughlin, 1995, p. 199).â€ This statement must have been true for Picasso, who spent his entire life creating despite the fact that his later years are not defined as his most influencial in terms of artistic expression.
LoRocco, C., & Coughlin, J. (1995). The Art of Work: An Anthology of Workplace Literature (1st Edition ed.). : Glencoe/McGraw Hill.
Pablo Picasso. (n.d.). Retrieved Jan. 4, 2009, from Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.com
Time, H. (1973, April 23, 1973). Pablo Picassoâ€™s Last Days and Final Journey. Time Magazine, .
Juvenile Offenders Essay
Steinberg states that there are some issues which are very challenging to the society concerning the nature of human development and justice when it comes to serious juvenile crimes (para, 1). This is due to the fact that people do not expect crimes to be committed by children let alone children being criminals. The unexpected connection between childhood and criminality brings about a dilemma that is hard to resolve (Steinberg para, 1).
Some of the ways out of this dilemma are: trying to redefine the offense as something of less magnitude than a crime and redefining the offender as somebody who is not actually a child.
For almost a century now, the American society has chosen to redefine an offense as something less than a crime (Siegel and Welsh p, 211). Hoge, Guerra and Boxer states that most juvenile offenses have for long time been treated as delinquent acts that need adjudication within a separate justice system for juveniles (p, 154).
This system is designed in such a way as to recognize the exceptional needs as well as the immature condition of young persons and stresses more on rehabilitation over punishment. Steinberg asserts that the two guiding principles that have prevailed concerning young people are that: they have different competencies as compared to adults, which necessitates adjudication in a different type of system, and that they have different potential for change and therefore qualify for a second chance as well as an attempt at rehabilitation (para, 4).
The operations of juvenile courts are carried out under the presumptions that offenders are immature meaning that their development is incomplete, their judgment is immature, and their character is still undergoing development. However, in the recent past as Steinberg states, there has been a tremendous shift concerning the way crimes committed by juveniles are treated by policymakers as well as the general public (para, 6). This shift has resulted in great changes concerning policies that deal with the way juvenile offenders are treated.
Gale argues that instead of choosing to defend offences committed by young people as delinquent, the society has opted to redefine them as adults and transfer them to the criminal justice system that deals with adult crime (p, 76). Some proponents in society have come to agree that there are those young offenders who should be transferred to the adult criminal justice system due to the fact that they pose a serious threat to the safety of the society where other juveniles live (Siegel and Welsh, p. 214).
Proponents, as Hoge, Guerra and Boxer illustrates, argue that the magnitude of the offense committed by these youth deserves a relatively more harsh punishment (p. 174). They also argue that the history of repeated offenses do not augur well for definitive rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. This however, does not describe the large number of young people who are currently being put on trial in the adult criminal justice system. Steinberg argues that majority of these have been charged with crimes that are not as violent to merit such a harsh punishment (para, 7).
When this transfer of juvenile offenders to adult system begins to become a rule instead of an exception, it characterizes a primary challenge to the very ground that the juvenile system was anchored in- that young people are different from adults. Debates concerning transfer policies can be viewed from different angles. Developmental psychologists would ask whether the differences drawn between people of various ages under the law are rational in light of what is known concerning age variation in different aspects of social, emotional, and intellectual functioning (Hoge, Guerra and Boxer, p. 79).
One major issue based on developmental psychology that emerges is about the creation of a boundary between young people and adults in matters of criminal justice. Developmental psychology seeks to identify the scientific reasons that justify the separate treatment of adults and young people within the criminal justice system, especially with reference to the age bracket, 12-17 years, highly under political analysis currently (Steinberg para, 9). First and foremost, this age bracket is an intrinsically intermediary phase.
It involves swift as well as dramatic changes in individualâ€™s social, intellectual, physical, and emotional capacities. It is a phase where a line concerning competence and incompetence of individuals can be drawn. Secondly, teenage years are a period of potential flexibility (Gale p, 98). Young people are heavily influenced by experiences in school, at home, as well as other social settings. To the level that flexibility is possible, transfer of young people into a criminal justice system that rules out a rehabilitative response may be an unrealistic public opinion (Siegel and Welsh, p. 11).
Adolescence is a decisive phase through which numerous developmental trajectories are firmly set up and increasingly hard to change. Numerous experiences that adolescents go through have devastating cumulative impacts. Irrational decisions and poorly formulated policies relating to young offenders may have unpredictable harmful outcomes (Gale, p. 104). According to Steinberg, mitigating factors such as mental illness, emotional stress and self defense should be critically evaluated when trying a young person (para, 14).
A punishment that is fair to an adult may be unfair to a young person who was not aware of the penalties of his/her actions. It would therefore be unethical to give life sentences to juvenile offenders. The way laws are interpreted and applied should vary when dealing with a case in which a defendant understanding of the law is limited by intellectual and emotional immaturity. The repercussions of administering long and severe punishment are very different when the offender is a young person as compared to when he/she is an adult (Steinberg, para. 17).
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