After Caravaggio’s Sacrifice
After Caravaggio’s Sacrifice of Isaac is written by Rachel Cusk, 2003. My assignment implies an analysis and interpretation of the story. my interpretation will be put into perspective by including a discussion of the text The Bible, Genesis chapter 22, (King James version), and an oil painting (Sacrifice of Isaac (1592-1604)) by Caravaggio. The short story After Caravaggio’s Sacrifice of Isaac is a modern version of Genesis chapter 22.
In the short story we meet a small Jewish family consisting of Alan, Sally and their new-born son, Ian. After the birth Alan is enforced to take the full responsibility of his and his wife’s son, Ian, because Sally gets some kind of postnatal depression – “After what she had been through with the birth Sally couldn’t bear him near her”. Alan creates a special bond between him and Ian, while spending so much time together – “When I thought ´we´, it was me and Ian I was thinking about”. Alan tries to be different with Ian, than his own mother was to him, because he had had a bad childhood – “It’s important for them [the children] that you don’t lose your authority”. Alan feels compelled to take unpaid leave off work, as Sally can’t stand to be near Ian the first years of his life.
As Alan suddenly has a lot of spare time, he builds up an interest in art. Seeing all these great pieces of art, Alan gets a new feeling of there being more to life than he yet had discovered. Alan decides to sign up for the evening class, which causes a meeting with a German woman, Gerte, who is the teacher in the History of Art. Alan describes Gerte as being the opposite of Sally – “she was very well educated and delicate and beautiful”. With this statement Alan indirectly portrays his wife as being unintelligent and ugly, which certainly leaves the impression that there is not a lot of love left in Alan and Sally’s marriage. Alan doesn’t feel like being together with Sally anymore – he even doesn’t feel like...