Jake’s Theme: Hope

Jake’s theme this week is Hope, and in my ‘Shadows’ post for Ailsa’s theme, I had a photo of a street in Pompeii. Whilst looking through my photos from this trip, I came upon two which I find very moving.  The first is a plaster cast of a man, one of the victims of the disaster which overtook that ill-fated city, when Mount Vesuvius erupted in August 79 AD. Had he gone to bed the previous night hoping to wake up to a new day on the morrow, or when he realised what was about to happen did he  just given up hope, and lay himself down to wait for death?


Of course the opposite of hope, is despair, and I found this particular image even more disturbing. This is obviously someone who had given up all hope, and was hunched over waiting for the inevitable catastrophe to envelop him.


(When the ruins were discovered, the archaeologists found a large number of holes in the volcanic deposits, which represented the corpses of people and animals that had been buried underneath the hot ash. The ash had petrified before the corpses decayed,  so that there was a good mold of the deceased. It was found that filling these molds with plaster, resulted in remarkable casts of  the victims, even including facial expressions.)

If you would like to see more happy interpretations of Jake’s theme, just click here.


103 comments on “Jake’s Theme: Hope

  1. I could imagine the panic and despair, and the utter chaos when we walked those streets. What an epic catastrophe! Great choice Sylvia.

  2. you wonder if the sleeping one was overcome with funes as he slept and never knew a thing.
    I feel for the crouched one. no where to go, no way to escape.

  3. Strange thinking of these being exact casts – and then naturally everything would be outlined even expressions AD . Horrific .
    An interesting interpretation for us all to see .

  4. the excavations of pompei have been really fascinating, seeing life preserved so completely at the moment of sudden death … sharpens my awareness!

  5. A horrific, but neverthless fascinating event in history. One wonders if these poor people and animals suffocated from a lack of oxygen in the air before they were engulfed. Awful death, either way.

  6. I have seen some similar photo’s a long time ago, AD. I always wondered whether there was any warning of what was about to happen. I can only hope that death was instantaneous.

  7. This is great my friend , I love your great interpretation for this week theme
    Thanks for sharing my friend 🙂

  8. ow! when I write a comment. I’ll be 101 .. This is a great post is just amazing information.Thank you my friend for sharing it for us-even after I get to say something

  9. OH MY! What despair these people must have felt. An unusual fine. But I hope they were hoping for a better life beyond this one.


  10. Wow this must be an interesting place to visit… thanks for the share although it seems to disturb you a bit…. I do love this post…

  11. That’s so interesting, Sylvia. Sounds similar to what I’ve heard about Hiroshima, when people were vaporized and their outlines appeared on buildings, etc.

  12. Yet another marvelous answer to a theme. Your efforts at these themes always leave me in awe. (Should I use that no-no word awesome?)

  13. Reminded me of the two elderlies in Titanic. 😀 Maybe they’re old too, or Jack wasn’t jus around to run around with them. bwahahahaha

    • I can’t begin to imagine, Andy. The bodies had decayed after such a long time, but the lava had solidified around their bodies, leaving a body-shaped hole, from which they were able to make the plaster casts.

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