Thomas Cole. Oil on canvas, 1840, 52 x 78 in. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY, 55.107.
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1. The youth has grown into an adult, who prays for guidance with an anguished look on his face.
2. Demons inhabit the clouds, representing Suicide, Intemperance, and Murder. Storm clouds reflect the tumult of manhood.
3. The angel now appears in the heavens, even further separated from the Voyager, and is no longer able to help him.
4. The hourglass continues to lose sand: the Voyager is running out of time.
5. The river turns violent and tumbles along large rocks, threatening to upturn the Voyager's ship and implying the precarious nature of adulthood.
6. The clear sky visible in the distance indicates hope and salvation; the sunset identifies the time of day as twilight.
7. Ragged and broken trees symbolize the treacherousness of the scene. The yellow and orange foliage, nearly gone, indicates the autumn season.
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