This last weeks class topic was a little shorter than usual due to us peer reviewing each others’ short review first drafts. The topic was description and interpretation and we looked to the readings to help define these things. Joseph Mallord William Turner’s Slave Ship was a painting that really stuck out to me and made a difference to me during this class discussion. Seeing the painting from a distance, it really is just a beautiful work of art. The colors and brush strokes really get your attention and I couldn’t get enough of them. However, the title looming over you helps break the spell and allows you to start looking into the details. For instance, the bodies in the water. John Ruskin’s article does little to hide his approval of the painting, in fact he plainly states how much he likes it and even uses the word ‘perfect.’ Cutting out his blatant liking though and focusing on simply how he describes the details, you can still tell that he enjoys this piece. The language he uses is very poetic and he avoids actually describing the horror that is happening in the scene. We talked in class about how hard it is to remain perfectly objective even in your descriptions, which are supposed to be without bias. I would say that Ruskin was not choosing to remain objective in this description, but I think it shows how your word choice can say which way you’re leaning. Using a word like ‘fantastic’ is going to leave the reader with a more positive feel than a basic description of a large, blue wave.