Masks for Humanity: Part 2

Isabella McCall, Columnist • ikmccall17@ehc.edu

Venice prided itself on the carnival. Luring thousands from across the world to come join the revelry of secrets and the dances of mystery. So many humans flocking to one location to entertain themselves behind a costume mask. But it was these costume masks that took away the distraction of the face and showed only the body costumed in clothing. The choices of clothing revealing the mind of the person behind them, even if they were meant to hide it.

The two women in serenading the room, dressed in their traditional costumes of white. They even stood in front of the classical frescoes, serving to echo their façade of tradition. Everything about them screamed long-established traditions from the scene they silently created to the music they produced. The wealthy patricians funding them wanted this scenario and paid heavily to get it. It was this presumed knowledge that led to my mind to the conclusion that these women were secretly rebels in a sense, but stuck with the societies expectations when they had to. They were rational, they knew that by playing to the expectation of normalcy they could survive, rather than those in their field who openly defied it and in turn spent most their time in the company of destitution.

I suppose most normal people were like that. They had a streak of something that was not socially normal, but hid it or didn’t think about it so that they could persist on happily through life without the worry of seeming to be odd or be a lunatic. Those who could not don this societal mask were deemed disturbed and placed separately from the majority of mask-wearing people.

Mask-wearing people being the “normal” people who kept their minds and thoughts tucked back and hidden from the people who surrounded them. It was only on occasions like this Venetian night, that the physical masks allowed for the hidden side of people to make an appearance. Perhaps that was why this festival prevailed, it gave the masked a chance to be unmasked.

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