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.
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