March 1, 2013
The Other Side
The Kandinsky painting is a binary object, one that is made of or based on two distinguishable entities. Kandinsky painted one side of the canvas geometric and somber, while in contrast, he painted the other side wild and vivid. Through the Kandinsky painting, Guare suggests that while everything has two sides to it, only one side can be seen at a time, always leaving an element of the unknown.
When one knows something it suggests that there is a familiarity with that something, a comfort, furthermore, a sense of security. On the contrary, when something is unknown one can only use one’s imagination to run through the infinite possibilities of what that something might be, never having seen or encountered it before. To become more knowledgeable about anything, one must have curiosity and inquire in order to have a better understanding. In that very way, The Kittredge’s wanted to learn more about Paul. They were curious, they wanted to know what happened to him, and so much more.
When Paul tells the Kittredge’s his story about knowing their children, and when he informs them that he is the son of famous black movie star Sidney Poitier, the Kittredge’s feel a sense of comfort with him. They feel as if they have gotten to know Paul due to the rich and luxurious lifestyle he claims to live, a lifestyle similar to their own. This comfort they developed with Paul comes shortly after envisioning Paul as merely a young, strange African American man with bloody, ragged clothing who appeared on their doorstep. What seemed to be a troublesome, potentially life-threatening situation turned out to merely be an illusion or misrepresentation of the “truth”, implying things are not always what they appear at first glance.
This very scene makes you question the validity of “knowing” something. People claim to know many things simply because they have heard of them even though they may not have any...