Introduction to "The Needless of War"

War is not at all pleasant. Words associated with war are usually always negative, and only occasionally, in the most rarest of circumstances, are they pleasant. Yet wars are not fought blindly, they are fought whole-heartedly with a purpose and reason. Perhaps the war is fought to better the world. Maybe the war is fought to eliminate enemies. Regardless, damage will be done and people will have been affected. Without a doubt, whoever loses will suffer. War is no laughing matter. Fighting should be a last resort, and only for the most extreme situations. Yet many a time the decision of whether or not a nation should partake in war is worn on a sleeve. No matter how much progress is achieved through war, there is just as much and more regression. Thus, war is absolutely needless if progress is desired. Although people go to war for the sake of some wonderful ideal, in the end it just wastes people's lives.

Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) by Salvador Dali 1936

                Salvador Dali was born along the French border in Spain in 1904. He attended drawing school and at twelve was exposed to modern painting on a vacation trip to Cadaques with a family of a local artist. The following year he held his first public exhibition, organized by his father, at the Municipal Theater. His mother died two years later, which was a painful blow to him as she had always encouraged his artistic pursuits. In 1922 he began his studies at the Academia de San Fernando, a school of fine arts. While he was here he focused mainly on Cubism, but his exposure to Cubist artists was limited, for there were none in Madrid. He was later expelled in 1926, for saying that no one on the faculty was competent enough to examine him. He ended up meeting Picasso in the same year; his later works reflect Picasso's influence. Around the beginning of the 1930s, Dali became heavily involved with surrealism. He collaborated on the production of a surrealist film as well as officially joining the Surrealist group in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris. However, while his peers were joining the leftists, he remained ambiguous in his political stance. This led to his expulsion from the Surrealist group. He, however, did not let this stop his involvement with surrealism as he continued to create works. His career ended abruptly when his wife dosed him repeatedly with nerve damaging medicine, and he ended up with a trembling right hand. When his wife died, he lost all reason to live and eventually passed on (Salvador Dali).
                Salvador Dali was a very symbolic painter, and always had meanings behind the items in his paintings. Surrealism's prominent notion, thinking without boundaries, allowed him to paint extremely abstract concepts that tied together with real world events. The painting Soft Construction with Boiled Beans is a reaction to the coup d'état led by General Francisco Franco against the Popular Front government. As Dali said, it is a portrait of "a vast human body breaking out into monstrous excrescences of arms and legs tearing at one another in a delirium of auto strangulation" (Salvador Dali). The figure is symbolic of Spain; the figure is ripping itself similar to the people creating social unrest amongst themselves which led to a civil war. The way the artist adds detail to certain parts of the body while leaving other parts smooth adds to the grotesqueness of the figure. There is a rectangular box at the bottom of the painting. It seems as if this box is able to support the figure just perfectly, so that it does not distort itself and remains peaceful and tranquil. Instead, the box is slightly behind and out of reach, perhaps demonstrating that Spain once had a strong core that kept balance and prevented outbursts but now that strength is a thing of the past, and there can only be the inevitable, war. The way the head of the top half looks up into the sky with the foot pushing down trying to get higher, and the bottom half's arm grabbing the top and pulling it back down is reminiscent of the interlocking struggles in civil war. One side may try to leave such as the top half is doing, but is so deep into war that it has to be finished. Here, the horrors of war are exhibited through such an abstract image, but without a doubt they exist. Not only is war needless, but once one starts war there is no withdrawal. One side may try to escape but the other will pursue with violence.