The Interaction Between The Flaneur And Worker Essay

1062 Words Aug 3rd, 2015 null Page
The interaction between the flâneur and worker suggest an underlying class conflict present in contemporary Paris. The setting of the painting, notable as an engineering marvel, is also historically important because it is where “different social classes [come] into daily contact,” despite its past as the “scene of heavy fighting during the Commune” (Fried 21). While the bloody history of Paris is still fresh, the calmness of the bridge suggests that class relations are evolving and perhaps improving. Fried references critic Julia Sagraves’s observation that “the painting presents a ‘roomy, airy expanse of sidewalk that allows pedestrians ample passing distance, permitting them to share its space comfortably with dissimilar social types, and even a dog’” (Fried 22). As Sagraves notes, the roomy sidewalk allows the man with the top-hat, presumably a flâneur, and the working class man on the right to “comfortably” share the street with each other and even with a dog that is in an even more dissimilar social class. Sagraves views the painting as “determinedly pacific and antiheirarchical,” with the “reconciliation of social class . . . reinforced by the gaze that the flâneur appears to cast in the direction of the leaning worker” (Fried 21). In other words, Sagraves suggests that the gaze of the flâneur toward the worker promises hope of reconciliation of class differences, as the flâneur is perhaps really seeing the worker for the first time. At a site where class differences…

Related Documents