People don’t see the world before their eyes until it’s put in a narrative mode

"People don’t see the world before their eyes until it’s put in a narrative mode"

These are the words of famous filmmaker Brain DE Palma who makes an attempt to describe the value of a narrative in comprehending the world depicted in any piece of art. Any painting or a speechless piece of art can present a meaning when it is accompanied by a narrative. Narrative perception plays a vital role in defining a painting. Without a narrative the meaning of any painting becomes ambiguous. A narrative makes it easy for anybody to comprehend the meaning of the painting and presents the whole scenario before a person’s eyes




There is a painting hanging on the wall in which a beautiful girl is having wings. She is about to fly in the sky filled with rainbow colours. She has many butterflies around her. This type of painting becomes ambiguous for anyone. It is not easy to comprehend the ideas of the painter and the thought behind the painting. 


A narrative can make it easy to understand the idea behind this painting. The narrative conveys that the wings in the painting symbolize freedom. The butterflies that accompany the girl are symbols for free thoughts. The girl in the painting is bound by social norms and restrictions in her real life. She cannot fulfil her dreams in this world. The society does not allow her to live, think and act freely. The world depicted in the painting is the world of her dreams where she can have wings of freedom. These wings allow her the freedom of thought as well as expression. The colours in the painting signify the desire for a beautiful and colourful life. This world of dreams is a means of escape from the real cruel world where her wishes are controlled by others (Abbott, 2008). Her imaginative world allows her to at least imagine the kind of life that she wants. 




This narrative helps people to easily interpret the painter’s thoughts. Otherwise they would have considered it meaningless or would have derived a different meaning out of this painting. Narrative perception here clearly makes the meaning of the painting clear. So every work of art can be understood better if accompanied by a narrative. There is a close connection between art and narratives. Narrative consciousness can never be resisted while analysing a painting. The narrative structures the art and makes it more understandable for a layman.



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