What It Means to Be Human: Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida

Topics: Human, Ageing, Gerontology Pages: 2 (602 words) Published: January 24, 2006
What it Means to be Human: Into the World There Same a Soul Called Ida
In Ivan Albright's painting, Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida, the frailties and susceptibility of human beings is represented. He uses symbols to show death and corrosion. Albright uses a women's vanity in order to demonstrate that life's pleasures are fleeting and that death is inescapable. He shows the high value for an individual's need of self-importance through three main objects in the painting: the woman Ida, the mirror she is holding, and the dresser which serves as her vanity.

The certainty of becoming old and eventually facing death is shown primarily in Ida. Albright depicts her as an older woman seeking desperately to once again look young. Her face is tarnished with wrinkles and is set is a distraught gaze. The rest of her body equally shows the increasingly aged skin and inevitable loss of youthfulness. In her left hand she has face powder which she is using to try and cover up the signs of aging, but this is all in vain. Ida is dressed in a scantily clothed garment in what seems to be yet an effort to stay young. Her clothes, however, also show signs of decomposition and ware.

The mirror that Ida is holding represents the longing for beauty and the vanity that has enveloped her. Instead of living life to its fullest she has spent her time trying to reinvent the past. She is so concerned about her beauty that she lost the time that she had in efforts trying to make herself younger. Even with all the hopelessness that is presented she seems to have the drive to continue on the path she has chosen to travel with a refusal to give up. Albright seems to be presenting the idea that humans are susceptible to weakness and shortcomings. Humans constantly want things that they cannot obtain. Ivan observes that many people are vain; they are more concerned about their outward appearance that what is on the inside also begins to be distorted. Using the...
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