This is my latest doodle titled “Boatman And A Girl Together With Other Parties“. I have not been drawing for quite some time. Drawing can be therapeutic. Especially if you have a rough day at work (like mine today). Each stroke scraps away a little bit of the trouble in your mind. By the time you are done with your drawing, you would be so detached from the earthy frustration and glad that the time spent not thinking of it has turned into something tangible. Something that brings a smile to your face.
Some of you may be bored of me going through in detail how I compose my drawings. If you have been reading on my doodle series, it is the same old symbols and linkages and a picture within a picture.
What inspired this drawing is our recent Spanish class. We were given a story in Spanish and were tasked to first form our individual opinion and then discussed and debated within the group in order to arrive at a common conclusion. All in Spanish of course. What intrigued me, out of this entire exercise, is how differently we think as an individual. It comes down to our bearings.
The story goes something like this. A young married girl was neglected by her husband who spent most of his time working. And she was seduced by another man while her husband was away. How far did she go? She had spent a night at her lover’s place on the other side of the river. In the next morning, she woke up early and planned to reach home before her husband returned from his business trip. At the bridge, she was hassled by a dangerously looking mad man who refused to let her pass. Panic, she had decided to take a boat in order to cross the river. But she had no money with her. And the boatman refused to take her across if she did not pay in advance.
She then returned to her lover’s home asking for money. But he refused with no explanation. As she left her lover’s home, she remembered a bachelor friend of hers living nearby and is in platonic love with her. When she explained her situation to her friend asking for money and he refused. Feeling utterly disappointed, the young girl had decided to reason with the mad man. When she tried to cross the bridge, she was killed by the mad man.
So, in your opinion, of the six characters – the girl, her husband, her lover, the mad man, the boatman, and her friend – who is the most guilty one? And how would you rank them from the most to the least guilty?
Our class spent much time debating, attempting to arrive at a common ranking order. It was a fun exercise. It reminds of one of the law books my sister read. So full of bizarre scenarios that challenge the readers to decide who the guilty ones are.
For those who are learning Spanish, here is the story in the original text.
Una joven casada, poco atendida por su marido demasiado ocupado en sus negocios, se deja seducir y va a pasar la noche con su amante en una casa situada al otro lado del río.
Para volver a casa al día siguiente, muy temprano, antes de volver su marido que está de viaje, tiene que cruzar un puente, pero un loco haciendo gestos amenazadores le impide el paso. Corre entonces hacía un hombre que se dedica a pasar gente con su barca. Se monta, pero el barquero le pide dinero por el viaje. Ella no tiene dinero y aunque le suplica desesperada, el barquero se niega a pasarla si no le paga por adelantado.
La joven vuelve a casa de su amante y le pide dinero. Él se niega sin darle explicaciones.
Se acuerda de un amigo soltero que vive en la misma orilla del río y que siempre ha sentido por ella un amor platónico, aunque ella nuca lo ha querido. La joven le explica su situación y le pide dinero. Pero su amigo también se niega: se siente totalmente decepcionado.
La chica vuelve a hablar con el loco, pero él no cede y la amenaza otra vez. Al final la joven decide cruzar el puente. El loco la mata.
¿Quién es, en tu opinión, más culpable de la muerte de la chica?