Dorothea Lange And The Migrant Woman

Decent Essays

During the first half of the 20th century, Photographs, songs, and cartoons tried to interpret the problems of the time through different kinds of imagery and tone with varying amounts of success, from praise and awe to disgust and rejection.
In the early 20th century, Americans were suffering from the Great Depression and its high unemployment rates, droughts and terrible living conditions, so when they first saw the series of photographs by Dorothea Lange, including the Migrant Mother, they were in awe of how it captured their situation, as well as their beliefs, perfectly. Not only did they represent the people as “dignified human beings whose plight would elicit sympathy, not ridicule,” Lange’s photos captured the idea that “Poverty was a distressing matter…, not an embarrassing one,” simply by photographing people on the streets they were living on, filming them in their element. People were in pain and just by taking photos of this problem, with some modifications and positioning, Lange’s art “became a tireless and universal symbol of suffering in the face of adversity” with its portrayal of regular people in dire situations. What also made the photos as popular as it was, and still is, is how they reference “fundamental and historic religious symbolism,” especially the Migrant Mother whose imagery of a woman tirelessly caring for her children alludes to the similar historical representations of Madonna and her child, Jesus Christ. While beloved for the realism of her

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