Look at the famous painting by Eugene Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, and think about the glorious days of the French Revolution, or the bloody days of the French Revolution. It is up to you to decide, but consider this: How much blood should be spilled to teach the world to stop spilling blood in vain? How much is this endeavor in vain? Do we have the right to kill for liberty? Does liberty dictate being written in blood? Look at what’s happening in the world today, and if you have the time, look at all our history, the history of mankind; is there any age without being suppressed? Have we survived any period in history without oppression and a lot of righteous causes to kill? Aren’t we the only animals left on this planet with this insatiable lust for blood? Aren’t we the only animals who take their liberty so seriously that the death of thousands of people does not matter, and the bodies of brothers and foes alike fall as if paving the way for some new tyranny? Liberty to have the power to take liberty from everyone? Is liberty worth more than the life of one human being?
What would be a right cause for a revolution that can justify bloodshed on the way to freedom? Why would you end the tedious life you lead and risk all and become careless of whatever may come, for you might have nothing to lose anymore? At what point would you stop caring about how many, or who fall every day in your glorious revolution? When does an idea created by human become more important than human himself? Put yourself in the shoes of this glorious goddess of Liberty figure holding the French flag and try to imagine what she might want to say to the warriors following her.
Suppose you were one of those warriors marching behind the goddess of liberty and try to fathom the reasons why you are marching in the first place. Would you ever stop for or at anything? Are there any limits to your revolution? You could write an anthem for the revolution, something that touches the heart of every revolutionary person around the world. What is the message you would want to instill in the hearts of the younger generation who is still trying to make up their minds about living their lives as normal human beings or give themselves away to the unknown outcomes of a revolution?
Go to the other side of the picture; the one Delacroix did not show. Think of the three years of guillotines and oppression and many brothers in arms dying for the supremacy of those who came in just in time to ride the revolution like broken horse. How would you justify all that? Imagine you were a person looking at this crowd marching towards you with the intention of doing nothing less than killing you, what ideas would you have in mind? If you had the chance to speak if they ever give you the opportunity to talk, what would you say to them? There may be a poem in the horizon to speak the tongue of the right and wrong on both sides. Does that give you any ideas to write about? I hope it does as it did to me.
What do you do now...
Write a short story, or a poem about what you can discern from this painting and share a link to your story with us here on Hungry Writer. You can be generous and share a link to this writing prompt on your website or your social media.