Masereel’s “The City (Die Stadt)” was very interesting to read, mainly because I had no idea what to expect going into the reading. No overview, no guide, just me and Die Stadt. As I viewed each picture I tried to find a recurring theme throughout the story. Obviously lust, sin, and murder/rape were themes that were evident. I tried to dig a little deeper and find another theme that was present and I believe I did so.
When I first saw this image there was one thing that caught my attention; the praying hands. The theme that I began to realize throughout the story was Lost Religion. When I say Lost Religion I am referring to the people in the city losing their religion.
Recently I have been able to view the world through a lens of understanding that everyone is not the same. Every Christian is not the same. Every Muslim is not the same. For that matter, all people of any religion are not the same. I have begun to understand that people are living for the moment and not necessarily for the pure enjoyment of their life.
I, being a Christian, was caught off guard by the question mark on the praying hands. Then I began to look deeper into the picture. I saw the other themes of Lust and Sin being portrayed. I feel that religious signs had been placed all throughout the story, but the placement was subtle and had been weighed carefully. What I was seeing was that the people all around the city, mostly males, were living their lives at a pace so fast that they were losing the consideration for their religion. I feel that they were religious because we could see the crosses and the church, so to me there was no doubt about that.
I feel that this is a strong representation of what really happens in the world that we live in. People get tired and bored of what they have but instead of either dealing with it or cutting their ties they take the easy way out and get something on the side to be able to cope. I guess the question mark means searching for the religion that they know is there. They know that one day they will have to face that aspect of their life because they see death all around them but the fact that they don’t have to deal with it at the time allows them to put it off and continue live life the irresponsible way.
After listening to my class discuss “Die Stadt,” I was able to look deeper and find a theme that I feel was evident in the story and relevant to the real world. Going from being confused in my own interpretation to getting the insight of my peers really allowed me to be able to express a different viewpoint.