girl on the verge of becoming a woman. Sits on the edge of her bed and stares straight forward, but seems to be looking inward. Dark shadow hovering at her side is a reference to her first menstrual period. On a larger level, this picture of "puberty" expresses how each human being is part of the bigger drama of nature and sexuality. Nature no longer spiritualized so much as eroticized. Motifs from the life of a modern soul, act I: sexual innocence and coming of age.
anti-naturalism in its stylization and abstracted space; streamlined image in which every detail of setting or decor not absolutely necessary to the theme has been eliminated, leaving only the essence of the scene. Not accessorized Victorian melodrama; Munch is going for the universal soul.
turn of the century anxiety; age of Darwin (theory of evolution; survival of the fittest) and Freud (sexuality and the unconscious). Nature eroticized rather than spiritualized. Psychological image of alienation; the expressionist path to the interior.