Curiosity Journal – Day 7

Visual Recognition

Wrinkles, wide open mouth, sharp cheeks, frowned over-sized eyebrows, huge reptile eyes, horns, were all carved onto this block of concrete. I could definitely tell that this creature isn’t a human being. Predominantly, I was convinced about its evilness.

As I was wandering in a pedestrian zone next to the Pantheon, a series of gargoyles grasped my attention. Knowing that I was walking in a memorial place, I wasn’t expecting this finding. Hilariously, I immediately judged these creatures as being evil. Could I say that my brain is a face detector, recognizing evil faces from friendly ones? It is impressive how human brains own a unique language in the interpretation of lines. From a simple shape, curve, line, we are all able to judge what we see. Maybe, the way we recognize things is linked to our early education. If I was told as a child that a smiling human being carrying flowers is evil, would I had even thought of these gargoyles being evil?

It is remarkable how some cultures could understand the way the population thinks and sees the world. From that starting point, they would create stories, myths, monuments, in order to wide spread a certain belief or a certain norm. I believe that this is how these gargoyles work. Their hostile and scary appearance would scare people. However, I wonder what is the myth they result from, how were they created, and why would they scare the believers. Similarly, why would they look like dragons? Why would they own horns, a characteristic that seems repetitive? Also, I noticed that some of them slightly carry physical human characteristics. Is it a way of threatening humans, by making them feel more concerned, making them feel physically more familiar, with the odd creature?



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