“The Fine Art of Sighing” Discuss.
The story “The Fine Art of Sighing”, by the art critic for Los Angeles Magazine, Bernard Cooper, is about a boy who has begun to take notice of the sighs of the world both good and bad; particularly that of his parents.
He starts by talking about some forms of sighing and the reasons behind them. He states it is a “gradual welling up of pleasure, or boredom, or melancholy” (Cooper, p. 62).
He goes into detail of our body mechanisms while producing a sigh and provides metaphors for the action like “your shoulders fall like two ripe pears” (Cooper, p. 62).
The boy then talks about his middle-aged mother, a housewife, who is “dreaming at her sink” (Cooper, p. 62). He has the opinion that while she is in deep thought gazing out the kitchen window, she is also mournful about her separation from the world outside wishing she could be happy with her life; perhaps believing that things would be better for her out there. She seems to sigh so heavy that it looks as if it may be her last breath. I know this feeling well, when you believe the grass is greener on the side, thinking if only I were in a different place, under a different circumstance, and not wanting to deal with issues at hand.
He then moves onto his father and how his sighs are very different from his mother’s. His “were more melodic” (Cooper, p. 62). Although they begin rather somber they change pitch and he his sighs seems to go from sorrow to relief. This makes me think that the father, although he may be somewhat discontented, wants to make the best of his life, and that in his sighs he lets it go, and feels better for having let it out. I, myself have also experienced this feeling; a feeling that there is nothing I can do so just let it go, let it out.
The boy’s father seems to take pleasure in the simple things, like “the softness of a pillow” (Cooper, p. 62). While, on the other hand, his mother sighs from sadness beyond words. Once he was aware...