Nighthawks

Hopper’s painting, Nighthawks expresses a mood of opportunity. The light in the piece is very symbolic, and represents newfound freedom in technologically advanced, urban areas. The diner Phillie’s evokes optimism. It is the brightest area in the painting, and also the only area where we see any real life. The street is dim and dark, and the diner offers people to see things they normally could not during nightime. This shows the begining of a change in social behaviors and patterns. Places like Phillies provided people the opportunity to stay out, socialize, and enjoy the hours of the night the same as they would enjoy the hours of daylight. The restrictions and limitations that were placed on society have been lifted due to advancement in technologies.
The light is brightest towards the left of the painting, right where the worker is present. As your eye moves away from him, the lgiht decreases more and more, until there is barely any light seen on the street. The focal point of this piece is that worker, and he too represent opportunity. He is seen bending downward, as if to reach for something. He is in a position of submission, where he is serving the patrons of this diner. With the availibility of electricity and social establishments such as diners, the upper class have the opportunity to mingle and dine during any hour they please. Along witht hat, the working class now has the opportunity to work during the night and take advantage of such facilities in order to expand their working capacity. This diner shows us the different aspects of society it serves in different kinds of ways. It shows the single man coming in, perhaps after work to catch a drink. It shows a well dressed couple, coming in perhaps afer a day out, just to wind down and relax. It shows the worker, eager to serve customers and bring in business during traditionally unconventional hours. It also shows light being shown on the building behind it. The light shines on the red building and windows dimly, perhaps symbolizing that this sort of opportunity shines on everyone, and all types of people can take advantage of the technology that has been created, and can exist amongst it with ease and optimism.

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