The subthemes of Sleeping discussed above arise from a movie about late-night romance, Yeats’ poetic vision of a monster awakening, a lullaby for children in Africa, and a van Gogh of reapers napping at mid-day. We have a few more subthemes to present that don’t link so directly to any of the four works of art.
Sleepless in Seattle stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in an endearing romantic comedy. The two get to know each other through a call-in program and email exchanges late at night, when they can’t sleep (or, eventually, don’t want to sleep). They surmount the inevitable entanglements that define a rom-com. From this endearing movie, we can explore several aspects of Sleep.
When The Tokens released, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” its unique sound drove it to the top of the charts. Click here to enjoy the song. All about trying to soothe a darling child to sleep, despite its worries about a nearby lion, the lullaby combines a catchy tune and memorable harmonization to suggest several aspects of Sleep.
William Butler Yeats’s poem, The Second Coming, broods over the parlous state of the world in 1919, traumatized after the carnage of World War I. Its second stanza envisions a nightmarish shape awakened from sleep, who will slouch toward civilization. Other themes that touch on unpleasant aspects of sleep arise.
“Siesta” [La Meridienne], a bucolic canvas by Vincent van Gogh, reveals a pair of farmers languidly napping in the heat of the day beneath a shady hay mow. They are resting as they digest their meal, avoid the intense sun, and build energy to keep harvesting. Their brief sleep enables them to keep working, and elicits other subthemes of Sleep.