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Vivre entre générations: Family Matters


From French to English

Camilla est la première petite amie de Charles = Camilla is Charles’ first girlfriend.

Louise et James sont les enfants de Sophie et Edouard =

Louise and James are Sophie and Edward’s children (/ˈtʃɪldrən/) / a child (/ˈtʃaɪld/)

Charlotte est la petite sœur de Georges = Charlotte is George’s little / younger sister.

The evolution of the American family

                                              Freedom from Want, Norman Rockwell, 1943

Recap: What can you see in the picture?

This painting was painted by Norman Rockwell in 1943 and is entitled « Freedom from want ».

The scene takes place / The action is set in the dining room of an American family in the 1940s.

The whole family is sitting at a long table covered with a beautiful table cloth and white dishes.

In the background, two old people are standing behind the table.

The older woman who must be the grandmother is holding a heavy dish which contains roasted turkey. As for the older man, he is looking at what she is doing with a smile on his lips.

The other characters are the grandparent’s children and grandchildren.

They are talking to eachother animatedly.

The atmosphere is joyful since they are all smiling.

They are celebrating Thanksgiving.

What is striking is the abundance of food.

Compare the painting below with the one painted by Norman Rockwell.

Recap of the description :

– Eleven adults (= grown-ups) and one baby are around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving.

– The two people who are standing at the back are African-Americans.

– The lady on the left is wearing dreadlocks / plaits (UK : /plæt/ – US : /pleɪt/)

– She is smiling and looking at what her partner is doing.

– The man on the right is also African-American and he is holding a loaf of bread.

– He is also smiling. = he is smiling too / as well.

– The guests are smiling to eachother / one another.

– They look happy. They seem to be enjoying themselves a lot.

Word Recap

Let’s compare both images

Composition of the image : Both images are alike / the same.

Atmosphere : The look as happy today as they were in 1943.

People : In the old painting, all the people are white, they are WASPs (White Anglo- Saxon Protestants) whereas (= tandis que) in the recent painting, there are 4 coloured people (3 African-Americans and one Latino at the bottom right-hand corner)

Setting (= le décor) : The setting is exactly the same except for the food. It looks like a vegetarian meal (= repas). Instead of meat, they will eat bread and vegetables.

The artist’s goal (= but) : He wants to show the evolution of the American society (differents ethnicities and food)

One more interpretation of Nornman's Rockwell's painting