Hopper Analysis

The colour are mostly dark, the only light apparent is the rtificial diner light, which passes through the light window casting shadows all around. The artificial light also makes us look towards a lonely cash register which is typical for an American shop to have, yet it’s the only visible item. The cash register may also indicate business, yet because it’s shadowed it may suggest that there is not a lot of business going around. The composition of the painting is also slightly angled which makes us feel uncomfortable.

The empty stools also makes the situation more gloomy and sad. The empty glass on the table that’s left alone may indicate someone has been there and gone away. From the cup shape itself we can probably guess that the drinker doesn’t drink coffee as that person uses glass instead of a mug (which is normally used for coffees). This may be a way of Hopper saying that people have died in the war, and we don t know who they are. Yet they still leave a piece of identity behind them like the up being left behind. Despite being in a room with other people, loneliness still can be felt.

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As if here is a wall between people. Because Hopper created this in 1942 which was the height of world war and a year after the pearl harbour bombing in December 7th 1941. The theme of loneliness is also highlighted with the fact that there are no doors visible in the diner. There are only glass windows where we can see through, it makes us as the audience also very lonely as there seems to have no opening for us to join in their little space. it also makes them feel ‘trapped’ as if they can’t go anywhere and they are stuck in that situation.

The title ‘Nighthawks’ suggest that the painting is about ‘nocturnal predators’ free to catch their prey at night. Yet the solemnness of the painting makes us think if Hopper was suggesting that they should be free, like Hawks. Yet they are unable to do so as they are trapped in a place, which in his reality was trapped inside his country because of world war. Overall Hopper’s Nighthawks represents the loneliness that occurred in America as the world war happened. As he said “Unconsciously, probably, i was painting the loneliness of a large city. “