I came across two awesome images today. The best thing about them is their ambiguity, that they can be interpreted in multiple ways. Definitely good material for a creative writing class.
The first is from here:
The first word that came to my mind was “brainwashing”. Teachers killing individual thought and enforcing their own ideas on children. The husband also saw it as depicting a negative image of teachers, that they encourage conformity. It can literally be seen as limiting children to “think inside the box”.
And then it occurred to me that the image could also be interpreted in a positive light. The teacher could be seen as shaping young children’s minds, again in the literal sense. But then we backtrack. Can the term “shaping young minds”, which is typically used in a positive sense, actually be a negative thing? By “shaping young minds”, are we forcing our worldviews on kids? Is “shaping” actually a bad thing? Hmm.
The second image is by Zach Weiner on the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal webcomic.
It shows the evolution of a person’s thought process. I don’t necessarily agree with it. I interpreted the image as depicting a person’s thought process which becomes more mature as they grow up, moving beyond what our parent’s encouraged us to think. But as a person grows older, the process reverses and you become increasingly narrow-minded and rigid.
I disagree with the reversal of the process. For one, I feel that only a fraction of people readily embrace new ideas and not everyone is open to listening to different viewpoints, of considering complex ideas. So for many people, the evolution of thought would end at the third or fourth step depicted in the comic. For the others who do move beyond it, I don’t think such a person would become closed-minded again and so the reversal seems to be quite a generalization to me.
The husband had a different take on it, however. He saw the thought bubbles as depicting complexity of ideas. As a kid, things are simple but they become increasingly complex over time. However, after a certain age, things start becoming less complex and you have answers to everything when you get old.
Not sure which interpretation is right. But that’s the beauty of it.