In his crackpot certainty about art and life, Benton thought he was fit to lead. Pollock wanted to follow, or believed he did. Yet he was unfit to be led, for he didn't know how to get the gist of another's example—not even Benton's—though his teacher did convince him that art could be a manly, not a sissified, pursuit. Paintings could be broad-shouldered and American; they could be Bentonesque. The workers and farmers in Benton's pictures are sinewy, like him, and their poses stretch their muscles taut. Built from intricate adjustments of form to space, his compositions feel clenched—an effect Pollock could never achieve.