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The Statue Of Liberty:

A Symbol of Americas Motives

The French artist, Frederic Bartholdi, designed and created the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty towers over New York Harbor as a work of art on an immense scale. Bartholdi designed every inch of this monument to accomplish his purpose and as a result, the Statue of Libertys message is very clear and powerful; the statue affirms American liberty to the rest of the world.

Bartholdi created the Statue of Liberty in the likeness of a woman. The imagery of a woman makes people feel attached at a very personal level to the statue. The fact that the statue looks like a woman leads onlookers to believe there are other people who are behind what it stands for; that there are actual people in the world doing exactly what Lady Liberty conveys. It makes a person believe that liberty still exists in this world. The statue also looks like a woman for part of the symbolism. The Statue of Liberty closely resembles the Roman Goddess Libertas. This goddess is known as Miss Liberty.

The sheer size of the statue catches my attention next. Bartholdi could have made a statue that was 5 inches tall or even the same size as an actual woman. So, why did he stray from natures design to create such an enormous statue? He did this for several reasons. The size allows for a multitude of people to look upon it and interpret the symbolism; what it stands for applies to everybody and not just a select few. The scale of the statue also emphasizes how important the meaning is. The message is larger than life. It needs to be spread to everybody possible. So, a several story statue was built in order to convey such an important message to such a large audience.

Without a doubt, liberty is the main imagery of the Statue of Liberty. Most of the features have connections back to the Declaration of Independence and that creates a strong message concerning liberty. This is because the Declaration of Independence symbolizes the end of Great Britains oppression and the beginning of independence in America. The first symbol that refers to liberty is the torch. The torch represents the light of liberty that is spreading out over the Earth. Liberty Enlightening the World was the statues original name so the torchs meaning is quite clear. The statue holds the torch up high to let liberty shine to the farthest reaches of the globe. Bartholdi also depicts the statue as walking forward, towards the Atlantic Ocean, which gives the impression that it is bringing liberty to the rest of the world. The next reference to the Declaration of Independence resides on the tablet in the statues left hand. On this tablet is written JULY IV MDCCLXXVI; the date the Declaration of Independence was signed. This signifies the day that the Statue of Liberty began her journey to bring liberty to the rest of the world. On its head, the statue wears a crown. The crown demands significance because of how our history has associated crowns with kings and queens. Generally, it is known as a symbol of supreme power. It is imposing the idea that American liberty is of the utmost importance and the highest prestige. It holds the supreme power in the land. The seven spikes that protrude from the crown represent the seven continents and seven seas. This further reinforces the idea of Lady Liberty bringing enlightenment to the rest of the world. The robe that the Statue of Liberty wears is called a stola. The stola works with the sandals on the statues feet to depict the idea that liberty is a very old right that has been reserved to mankind for centuries,

from times as far back as Ancient Rome. The sandals additionally symbolize that the statue is lighting the path to liberty with peace, not violence.

Upon closer inspection, it is clear that the pedestal the statue stands on is made of granite. The granite consists of thirteen different layers. This correlates to the thirteen colonies that originally comprised the United States of America. The granite layers form the base that Lady Liberty is built on; the same base that America is built on. Bartholdi is making the connection between the statue and the country and stating that the two are one and the same. All of the countrys goals and beliefs are embodied in the Statue of Liberty.

Years after the statue was put in New York Harbor and after millions of immigrants sailed past Lady Liberty, a secondary purpose behind the Statue of Liberty evolved. Emma Lazarus poem was also added to the statue and it additionally strengthens this later purpose. It is now seen by some as a beacon to the oppressed people of the world, telling them that salvation is available in America. In Ancient Rome, freed slaves worshipped the Goddess Libertas. Refugees saw themselves as freed slaves and welcomed the sight of Lady Liberty, as she was in the likeness of Libertas. The immigrants saw the statue as a symbol of freedom from their old lives and a greeting to a new life of liberty.

The last major symbol noticeable on the statue is the broken chains around the ankles. The chains are broken to celebrate that America is free from slavery and bondage. Actually, the main reason behind the French building the Statue of Liberty for the

United States was because, after the Civil War, America abolished slavery. This was something that the French had long supported and they wanted to make a monument that honored the great occasion and honored their friendship with the United States. So, the idea of freedom from slavery plays a huge role in the creation and design of the Statue of Liberty.

Therefore, it is quite obvious that Frederic Bartholdi put much thought and deliberation into the building of the Statue of Liberty. The statue is abundant with symbolism and imagery that refers to the Declaration of Independence and allows Lady Liberty to honor the date the Declaration was signed, which ushered in a new era of liberty. The statue easily allows onlookers to recognize American liberty. This statue is expertly designed to persuade everybody of the intentions of liberty and to celebrate the abolition of slavery at the same time. It is designed in the most effective way possible without being overbearing. It sends a very powerful image.

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