Elaine Morales Fraginals: France as Text 2019.

Elaine Morales is a student at Florida International University majoring in Psychology with a concentration on Behavior Analysis. Elaine plans to graduate this Summer 2019 from the Honors College and start her Masters in Behavior Analysis next Fall. Elaine plans to become a certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and work with Autistic kids. She is also an entrepreneur who is developing her Behavior Analysis clinic (N3N3 BA Therapy, LLC) and a personal blog https://crazypsycho.blog about Psychology issues in the XXI century. These are her France as Texts.


“Aesthetic Controversy” in Paris by Elaine Morales of FIU at Paris, France on 2019. 

Paris is the most visited city in the world, and thousands of people arrive here every year to see famous structures such the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Pyramid. They observe what they eyes are prepared for: stunning edifications with a lot of history inside. However, the most amazing element of both is the aesthetic controversy behind them. Paris is an elegant city, where styles such as Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerism, Belle Epoque and Baroque (French classicism) combine all together to create a beautiful harmony.   Such equilibrium was broken with the inclusion of mass a pure iron just facing La Seine. The Eiffel Tower ended with centuries of classic art just to send the message of the Modern Era. It wasn’t the arrival of a new style to Paris; it was the Industrial Revolution itself. The tower broke all the aesthetic codes that had have been stablished in Paris since Rome. An atypical welcome to the world where we live in today. It was an imposition of technology, metals, new styles, new feelings, new beginnings a new way of thinking over the city of Paris. It converted an historical land in an adaptable capital, being so controversial that became the more iconic sign of the city nowadays. 

Something similar happened with the insertion of the pyramid in the Louvre Museum. A modernist edification in the middle of a classic French Renaissance monument. The contraposition of two different styles changing the way of thinking of a methodic population. An edification of a new generation that remembers the start of the art in Egypt. It was a harsh in the city and a wound in the culture for many Parisians. Both are symbols of Paris and constitute attractions for locals and tourists. They represent the aesthetic controversy of the most visited city, and perhaps the conflictive and revolutionary temper that characterize all France.  


“Was it worth?” by Elaine Morales of FIU at Versailles, France, 2019.

Was it worth? It was the last question professor Bailly asked at the end of the class at Versailles. A massive YES killed my concerns at that moment. However, once I summarized all the elements learned during the day, my answer differed from the massive YES. Louis XIV created a monument at Versailles. He had a vision and he accomplished what he dreamt about: everyone in the world wants to see Chateau de Versailles. It is probably the Rococo itself, a piece of art, a unique palace, the best of France….But he sacrificed the food of his people, the peace of a country and probably the continuation of the monarchy in France. He used the state money to build Versailles, a place where only him and his relatives were able to live in. He used the life of his people to create a Monument for himself. The palace was not meant to be used for the good of France, was made to enhance the power of the king. The palace is a tourist attraction today and provides revenue to the country thanks to the people who fought in the French Revolution and abolished the monarchy. If the monarchy of France would have stayed the way it was Versailles would be the palace where the king lives instead of a place for the good of the country. 

We fight for better societies based on the respect of the human rights, in the quality of education and health care access, in the happiness and stress level of the people. Then, how are we going to sustenance that it was worthy to sacrifice all the human rights for a palace. Humans, nature comes, and life always come first, and every time we forget it, we lose. It is never going to be worthy changing priorities and putting enrichment, power and wealth before peace, love and tolerance. 


“Threefold death” by Elaine Morales of FIU at Lyon, France.                                                                        

Humanity is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as all people in the world as whole, or the qualities characteristic of people. None has the right to dehumanize others, to make them slaves, to kill them or to convert them into numbers. B-3692 was the difference between a person and an item. Once that number was part of Claude Bloch’s forearm, he wasn’t considered a human being anymore, and was condemned to the most horrific tortures I have ever heard off.  He was fifteen when his grandfather and his mother were killed, when he had to say good bye to his school, city, friends, and his childhood in order to play the role of a man in order to survive. His dreams were no longer a toy, a girl or a trip. His only dream was waking up with the strength to work and to support the hate, the mistreatment and the pain. He just wanted to survive the Holocaust induced by the Nazi Germany. 

Two thirds of the Jew’s population (6 million) were murdered between 1941 and 1945, and Mr. Bloch could be considered lucky for surviving. The most painful memory from his story was his mother pushing Bloch away to save his life. The most hopeful one was the sight of the Swiss Red Cross flag in the darkness at the moment he was saved.

Even when The Shoah was over, he was murdered several times. The first time was when the Germans dehumanized him and made him a number. The second one was when Germans treated him like an object and tortured him without compassion. The third one and the most unforgettable one, was when justice wasn’t done. When his mouth was silent because no one wanted to hear his story. When the Nazis never paid for what they did. When the next generations led Klaus Barbie into liberty and under protection by the American Government. We kill Mr. Bloch when we allow our government to separate people and to differentiate us between races, colors and economic status. We murder him when we do not repeat his message, when we forget the Jews that died in the last century. We continue killing Jews, killing memories every time we hide the pain and cover the blood that others caused. We are complicit if we do not end discrimination, if we do not respect others and if we do not love life the way Claude Bloch did. 


“Unfinished Letter” by Elaine Morales of FIU at Izieu, France. 

Izieu, April 6th1944. 

Dear Mother:

I hope you and dad are as well as me when you receive this letter. I miss you so much and I can’t wait to see you again. I am behaving really good, better than last year, and I am doing my homework after class. I am eating a reasonable amount of food as you suggested and only one spoon of sugar per day. I am learning the French language and Miss Feldblum says I am really good at dialectics. I have been sad because I am forgetting my piano lessons and I feel that dad is going to be mad at me. I promise to practice all the songs as soon as I get home. Mom, I miss you when I go to sleep and sometimes, I have nightmares about the war. I see a door that closes, you and dad are in a white side and I am in a dark side, and I don’t see you again. I wake up crying and wishing I could hug you. I wonder how aunt Mary is doing, if she misses me as much as I miss her.  I met another girl here; her name is Esther Benassayag and she is also 12 years old. The kids are good, and we have a lot of time to play together but I always prefer talking about modals and dresses with Esther. We love going out and running around the fountain. The water here is clear and fresh. I respect everyone in the house, just as you told me in your last letter, and I am especially kind with the adults Lucie, Mina, Sarah, Moise and Miron. Moise is really old, have white hair and looks like grandfather. I know you are worried about my health and my stomach problems. I assure you I’m fine, and I’m taking hot chocolate every morning. My clothes are clean, and my toys are few, but I really like them. Mom, I have to end my letter here because Miss Friedler is saying my name. They are all taking breakfast and I am late for my hot chocolate. Oh mom, Miss Friedler is yelling at the kids, something bad is happening because she is the nicer adult here. Mom, there are more adults yelling, they have red symbols in their uniforms, and they look really tall. Their cars are giant, and they have big toys in their hands. Mom, I am scared, these adults are not like Mina or Lucie. They are coming here! They want me, they want me! Mom. What should I do? Mom, I don’t know wha

(The letter is unfished on purpose. The writing style and the vocabulary used in the letter are based in a 12 years old girl. The letter is fiction. All the names, ages and dates are based in historical facts).  


“Love is LOVE” by Elaine Morales of FIU at Normandy, France on 2019. IMG_1672.jpg

Photo by Alex Gutierrez

At the end, love is love…

Love is a word, a heart in a paper, an emoji, a feeling, a tear, a pain. Love is hope.

Love is patience, sacrifice, peace and war.

Love is what we know and what we don’t know.

It is what makes us think twice, stay alive, breath, cry, and even smile.

Love is never saying goodbye. It is looking for a name among thousands of graves.

Love is doubting the past and confronting the future.

Love is asking where your love went, where your happiness is buried.

It is the strength that a widow needs to receive a feared letter three times. Always the same begging, always the same end: “Deeply regret to inform you…”

Killed in action, recovering in a hospital, killed in action, still killed in action, still the body is lost, still we don’t know.

Always the same letter, the same routine, the same answer. Because, maybe that’s love.

Love is never stop loving, even if sixty years without him are more than six weeks to his side. It doesn’t matter, because love is love.  

Love is the happiness of knowing where the remains of your husband are.

Love is traveling to the place where he died.

Love is not forgetting, is honoring, is carrying a memory. 

Love doesn’t end; love sends flowers ten times a year for all the missed moments.

Love stays married even after death, because love isn’t only presence.

Love is absence as well, is the empty space in a bed, the unoccupied chair in a Christmas dinner. It is the piece of turkey that none eats at Thanksgiving.

Love is the feeling that live never ends. Love is the excuse to stay dreaming.  

Love is the reason why we accepted that theory that one day Christ will descend, a paradise will exist, and a hug will put together all our missing parts.

Brief Description of the love and war story lived by Billie D. Harris and his wife.

 Billie D. Harris was an Army Air Corp flying cadet at Books Air Field in San Antonio, Texas. He was born in 1921 in United States and married Peggy Harris on September 22nd, 1943 in Florida. After their honeymoon he was sent to Boxted, England as member of the 355thFighter Squadron, 354thFighter Group. He was a successful soldier, completing over 60 missions in a few months and earning two Air Medals with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross. On July 17, near to the town Les Ventes and only 90 miles away from Paris, his aircraft was shot down by Germans. Harris crashed into the woods and died instantly after the impact. He maneuvered the aircraft to avoid a crash into the village, which saved countless lives. His body was found by the French resistance and was honored as deserved, but was identified as a Canadian because of his name.

Peggy Harris did not stop searching for her husband. First, she was told Harris was missing, then that he was in recovering in a military hospital in the U.S., and finally she was informed that her husband was killed in action. As she wasn’t sure of the whereabouts of her husband, she decided to stay married to him forever. At the same time, she did not stop looking for his remains until she found the true in 2005. She visited the place where the aircraft crushed and found flowers on his grave. The villagers honor Billie D. Harris for giving his life at the age of 23 for the peace that we share today.  This story is an example of all the sacrifice that our heroes did for us, and we cannot forget it. The people of Les Ventes have never forgotten him, neither Peggie has stopped loving him.

Grave Location: Plot D, Row 27, Grave 3.


Once I read this story, I couldn’t move or speak. I started to cry for a few minutes. War is hard, death is painful, and not having the opportunity of saying good bye is an open wound that lasts forever. I have lived most of my life in a country without freedom. In a place where you have no voice, no party, no rights. You cannot leave the motherland or stay, you cannot choose between being gay or straight, religious or skeptic. When freedom does not exist, you have no choices than being a thing, a number, a victim. I know what living without liberty means, and that’s why I respect so much all the sacrifice done by others for the rights and the possibilities that I have today in United States. I am more thankfully for all the young men and women that gave their lives for the world that we share today. They fought for our voice, our dreams, our opportunities, and all the liberty we have. They are heroes of their time and our time as well. They are our inspiration to keep fighting for the abolition of racism, machismo, homophobia, hate, borders, divisions, parties, and corrupt governments.

Most of us would feel the necessity of honoring Billie D. Harris for what he did, and for the freedom that we share today. Most of us would admire him for saving so many people and for giving his life for humanity. I feel the same, I feel the responsibility of keeping his memory alive. Nevertheless, I also have the duty of glorifying his wife for loving him even after his death, and never stopping looking for his remains. I feel the obligation of remembering to the new generations that love is what makes us human beings and what keeps us alive every day.


“A true master” by Elaine Morales of FIU at Pere Lachaise cemetery, France on 2019. IMG_8578

Photo by Nicole Avetrani

Life and Work

A master of the Art history was born in in July 10thof 1830. He was a Danish-French painter who was part of the Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism. Camille Pissaro surrounded himself of important painters such as Gustave Courbet, Jean-Baptiste, Paul Signac, Georges Seurat, and others. His temper and kindness, added to his age were the reasons why he is considered the father of the Impressionism. Artists would consult him for advice about painting and life, making of Pissarro a role model to follow. He was famous at his time and was the only impressionist present in all the Impressionism exhibitions in Paris.2560px-Deux_femmes_causant_au_bord_de_la_mer,_Saint_Thomas_(Camille_Pissarro)_–_NGA_1985.64.30Two Women Chatting by the Sea (1856)

His father wanted him to be a business man and he was required to work. His passion for painting was big enough than he spent his free time to study art and drawing techniques. When he was 21, he decided to leave his family and work and went to Venezuela to work as artist. Two years later, he moved to Paris to work as assistance of famous painters. In Paris, he created connections, took classes of painting and decided to create his own techniques because to avoid “stifling art”. At the beginning he worked in a traditional style to satisfy the official standards of the French Academy. Road_to_Versailles_at_Louveciennes_1869_Camille_PissarroRoad to Versailles (1869)

He was obsessed with outdoors settings and always looked for making a revolutionary art. His friendship with Monet, Guillaumin and Cezanne helped him to realize that he was not alone, and he started to change the way he painted. They created a group which was rejected in most of the formal expositions. However, he was one of the favorite painters of Napoleon III, who always included Pissarro in important exhibitions. He left Paris during the Franco-Prussian War and went to London where he interacted with Monet. At that moment, he confirmed that his style was painting outdoors, interacting with the natural light and atmosphere. After the war, he came back to Paris where almost all of his art work had been destroyed by soldiers. His past paintings meant the physical documentation of the beginning of the Impressionism. He continued working and stablished connections with important figures including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir and others. As impressionist, he was criticized and rejected as all his collages, but he continued doing the style he loved.Camille_Pissarro_023Landscape at Pontoise (1874)Camille_Pissarro_-_The_Hay_Cart,_Montfoucault_-_Google_Art_ProjectThe Hay Cart (1879)

Several art historians think that Camille Pissarro ended the Impressionism when he decided to leave the movement. He was the oldest and most experienced figure among the members. Pissarro had new themes for his work, he included people performing daily living activities in realistic settings creating a new movement: Neo-Impressionism. He did not send any political message through his art work, he most political expression was painting the new man, the worker, the poor class. His art had a commercial value and was made to be sold to the upper class. He received influences from Seurat and Signac and started to study and develop pointillistic techniques.Camille_Pissarro_-_La_Récolte_des_Foins,_Éragny_-_Google_Art_ProjectLa Recolte des Foins (1887)

Pissarro abandoned Neo-Impressionism because its theory did not longer satisfy his artistic demands. Also, the study of new techniques required too much time and his financial condition was instable. He suffered from an eye infection which limited him of painting outside. Then, he started to paint outdoors setting from windows. He recreated the same place in different times of the day, whether, or stations of the year. He moved in France and painted in different cities until he died in November 13thof 1903.  Pissarro_Camille_-_Boulevard_Montmartre_à_Paris.jpgBoulevard Montmartre a Paris (1987)
Pissarro_-_Pont_Boieldieu_in_Rouen,_Rainy_Weather.jpgPont Boieldieu in Rouen, Rainy Weather (1896)



Self-portrait (1903)

Pissarro is considered a legacy and a role for many painters who succeeded him. He was the oldest from the impressionist movement and he was not afraid of changing his style though his career.  He inspired Cezanne who was interested in the unique recreation of the countryside performed by Pissarro. Paul Cezanne consulted him every time he needed an advice and considered the old painter a father and a friend. He inspired Gauguin to become an artist and influenced him during his career. His son Lucien Pissarro also considered his father his principal teacher. Vincent Van Gogh also study the way of using the light and the color implemented by Pissarro. Mary Cassatt who was a member of the impressionist group considered him the master of drawing.


 It is really easy to love a true master of the Art History. Camille Pissarro was a painter who was sure of his profession since he was young until the end of his life. He sacrificed his family, his work, and his financial stability to make his dream come true. He left his father and his commodities to achieve his personal goals.  I share the same feeling about my dreams. I am sure of what I want to do with my life, and I work hard every day to become the person I am going to be proud of. As him, I left my mother and my brother to find a better future for me and for them. I came to United States to become a free person, to own my destiny and to be respected for my abilities and intelligence. I refused my father’s preposition of being a health worker, losing his economic support because it wasn’t my path. Instead, I preferred to work for my education and for my personal expenses. I became a full-time student and a full-time worker, I took 60 credits per year, and I paid for all my classes. I am graduating next week with the degree I wanted and more important: out of debt. I decide for my destiny and none impose me anything. I am a proud independent woman who own her future.

I have some differences with Camille Pissarro. In my opinion, he was too silent for the historical moment he lived. We live in society and though art we have the possibility and the responsibility to transmit an idea. He stayed quite while war, oppressions, and industrializations. He did not fight for anything but his career and his personal aspirations. While other artists were criticizing religion, exposing sex and nudity, changing the world; Pissarro was only selling art and improving his techniques. I couldn’t be like him; I couldn’t stay at the border of the problems when my world is falling apart. I have the necessity to transmit a feeling, to produce a change and to show my interior in all its dimensions. I am a revolutionary since I was born, and I love problems if they are going to be remembered for life. I think he was a master, but not expressing social problems or historical moments though his paintings reduced the impact of his profession in the next generations. He would be a more respected and famous artist if his themes would have been more diverse. His art work is being sold for almost 20 millions nowadays, but they constitute only a documentation of people, workers, and places when they could have a true representation of the society of the 19thCentury.

I think Camille Pissarro had his goals in the world of Art, and everything he did was based in such goals. He wanted to make money from art and to develop techniques to be a master and a teacher, and he achieved so. He was revolutionary in his style and a great Impressionist. He was not afraid of changing the fixed style imposed by the Academy to follow his own path. Camille Pissarro, along with other many painters changed the Art history forever, transforming the art into something that comes from the soul and reflect the deepest feelings of the heart.








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