First Published In Life Magazine'S, World'S Highest Standard

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First published in Life Magazine 's, World 's Highest Standard of Living became instantly recognizable to many Americans during the Great Depression for its starkly ironic juxtaposition of an idealized America alongside the grimmer aspects of everyday reality. By looking at Figure 1. “The American Way” by Margaret Bourke White, we can see the contrast between the advertisement and the people in line, which most people do not see. This is important because it emphasizes the crisis following the Great Ohio River flood of 1937. Margaret Bourke White was a photographer based in Cleveland, Ohio that can be primarily described as an industrial photographer. Her photographs focused on the human side of news, depicting the hardship that many …show more content…

Every member of the family is smiling, even the dog hanging out the window appears to be enjoying himself. It is clear that this billboard is meant to make other want this sort of lifestyle. Across the top of the of the billboard the words “World’s Highest Standard of Living” is written in all caps, lower down beside the vehicle the billboard reads “there’s no way like the American Way”. The use of all capital letter may be meant to emphasizes that the family is depicting the ideal style of living and that it’s the standard that all others should try to achieve. The words lower down on the billboard are written in a more sophisticated font. The word way is capitalized, this may be because it draws attention to the word and places more emphasis on it. Understanding the billboards goal is important to the irony that is emphasized by the photographer. The billboard was a for of propaganda displayed across the South to lift American moral during the Great Depression, and yet it serves as a comparison and highlights the grim reality of the time period.
In contrast, the people in line are dressed in dark colors and none of them are smiling. This group of people are lined up to get rations in the aftermath of the Louisville flood. There is no happiness in the way they are standing and no one is talking to each other, it almost seems as if there is a grim sense of hopelessness shared amongst those in line. Furthermore,

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