In the artist’s words

The Wanderer is real and yet unreal at the same time.  The old man is the everlasting human spirit… here once more he goes through a dark world—through an apocalyptic landscape—tireless and in deep, maybe grim, thought he wanders on until the dark day changes into a light and sunny day… the bird and the thicket of reeds and brambles symbolizing his thought.  So he, the old man, is just a lonely reed, too.  —George Grosz