The Desperate Man (after Gustave Courbet) by Jina Wallwork
She talks of the problems they share and attempts to repair the cracks that are becoming wider. She wraps her words in kindness but can’t control how they are received. The wounded lion can’t maintain control over his emotions. Her words cut deep and are accompanied by a feeling that pollutes his self worth. He wants to express this feeling, however his words betray him. He wants to declare his pain and torment. Instead, he attempts to deliver the emotion to her. He believes that if she feels his pain she will attempt to alleviate his suffering, but he is incapable of a level of expression that would initiate an empathetic response, so he gathers his rage and speaks in the only manner he knows. His words intertwine with cruelty and are delivered with spite. He utilizes her perception of herself to inflict real damage. Where she believes she is ugly he declares it to be true. He enhances her negative gaze and then asks her to look at herself.
He wants her to feel his pain and devastation. She tries to appear strong as she crumbles from within. She is polluted by his emotions, although she does not understand him. She is overwhelmed by her own pain and can no longer recognize his. This lion’s roar expresses very little truth. It echoes within her feelings of self worth as she finally walks away.