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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Taking photographs may seem simple, but being a photographer is more than browsing through the viewfinder and pushing the exposure button. A photographer needs to know how to analyze the scene, speak in words that language cannot, and reach to the souls of people through a picture. During the Great Depression, many photographers captured the scenes of poverty and grief. However, there was only one photographer that truly captured the souls of Americans. According to Roy Stryker, Dorothea Lange "had the most sensitivity and the most rapport with people" (Stryker and Wood 41). Dorothea Lange was a phenomenal photographer that seized the hearts of people during the 1930s and beyond, and greatly affected the times of the Great Depression.
The Great Depression was a very influential era in American history, affecting many future generations. One of the most prevalent impacts it had on society was the extreme poverty that swept across the nation, affecting both people in cities and in the country. The main cause for this poverty was the mass loss of jobs among the middle class. Millions lost their jobs and consequently their homes. Families lived out of tents and cars in shanty towns or Hoovervilles. In these camps, many people didn’t have their basic human needs met, children and adults alike starved. They lived in clothes that were caked in dirt and tattered, too small for growing children and too cold for the frail elderly. Government relief programs attempted to help but offered little support to the now impoverished families of the millions that lost everything.
The 1930’s were filled an enormous sense of vulnerability and angst because of the horrifying events of the Great Depression and its impact that it had on the society and economy of the United States of America. People of all classes, races, genders, and heritages were struck by the tragedies of the Great Depression. However, with new advancements in the technology of photography came a new hope and outlook for the future of Americans. The introduction of colored photography along with organized photographic groups and their impact took the World by storm as the realization of normal citizens being impacted by the Great Depression set in.
“On the morning of October 29, 1929, panicked voices shouted over one another. Here and there, men leaned against the walls, hands over their faces as if trying to shut out the scene. In the street outside, a crowd had gathered, trying to learn the news. A man staggered out the door, clutching his hat in both hands. He looked as though he might weep. “It’s gone,“ he whispered, so quietly only the few closest to him heard. “It’s all gone.”# The term ‘Great Depression’ according to Kristin Brennan evokes black-and-white images of thin men in threadbare suits and worn-out shoes selling five-cent apples on city streets, of “grim-faced women lined up three deep to collect bread and milk at relief stations.”# The Great Depression of the 1930s
The United States experienced both the Great Depression and harsh weather conditions during the 1930’s causing Americans to suffer through extreme hardship and impoverishment. Many of the migrant farmers were bankrupt, destitute, and struggled to survive. Photographer and photojournalist, Dorothea Lange, captured the dangerous conditions migrant workers and their families endured through her photograph, Migrant Mother. The photograph not only displays a woman and children suffering, but also reveals the determination and willpower the woman had to provide for her family.
In the article, “Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, and the Culture of the Great Depression” by James C. Curtis, we understand what it takes to get the perfect photo to represent a message. Dorothea Lange became very popular during her time and is known especially for her photo, Migrant Mother, which documents life during the Great Depression. James C. Curtis does a good job explaining the artistic decisions to this most famous shot and how many different steps Lange took in order to really create a powerful message depicting life in poverty.
In America, the years 1929 through 1941 were not necessarily the brightest years the country has seen, but certainly should not be forgotten, and here’s why: during the Great Depression, one may say the true colors of the nation, showed through. As people lost money and unemployment rates skyrocketed (seen in document 1), companies were picky as who to hire, usually hiring the average white male over any other minority (women included). On the other hand, however, many people came together as a community and helped restore America to its former glory.
Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” depicts one of hundreds of similar cases of impoverished people during the Dustbowl that ravaged the American Midwest in the 1930’s. It was pictures like this one, windows into the souls of the disheartened and discarded, that brought about awareness and reform that eventually ended the Great Depression. Uniting one nation, this picture, and others like it, connects Americans to one another- not individuals, but one and indivisible. The photograph’s composition, narrative, and themes contribute to its purpose as a work of political protest as the mother represents a declining nation in dire need of change.
One might say that the Great Depression was a time of despair and feeling vulnerable from those who lived through it. However, writings have shown that some Americans during this era did not give up and had an optimistic view as opposed to a pessimistic view. In “Anacostia Flats” by John Dos Passos, it shows that the ex- service men during the Great Depression had a sense of determination for getting their bonus. The film 42nd Street demonstrated the tenacious spirit of Americans who worked on a play during The Great Depression. Meridel Le Seur’s “Women in the Breadlines” depicted the reality of struggling without employment but having the will to keep trying. During these times, society had not surrendered as several of them stood up for
It consists of an array of artworks, pictures, and photographs along with verbal description of the various conditions of the working class during the great depression starting from the events which led to various riots and violent acts by the working class and a clash between the capitalist class, government, and the working class (M. Elizabeth Boone, 2006). It depicts the California Labor School’s establishment; workers’ disenfranchisement from the service economy; movement of farm workers; and the demographics of the workers changing. The photographs depicted are of Tina Modotti, Otto Hagel, Dorothea Lange, and Emmanuel Joseph while paintings are of Hung Liu and Diego Rivera. The book consists of five chapters taking the audience through the journey of the working class during the great depression (M. Elizabeth Boone,
The fortunate middle class Americans unexpectedly, during the Great Depression, didn’t even look twice at the luxuries of the world. Just as any American during that time, they had their focus on the necessities of life such as food and shelter. Many worried about losing their home because they could barely keep up with the paying bills. As a result, the Homeowners Loan Corporation (HOLC) helped refinance home loans supporting Americans and allowing them to stay within their homes. Many middle class and upper class women began writing their own personal budgeting accounts to help them pay bills as well as food. They also taught other women how to properly budget their own small sum of money. They budgeted to help them keep control of the money they had and make sure that they had the right amount of money with them all the time. In an article written by Richard C. and Sharon M. Hanes told a little bit about a lady and how she and other women handled money for the food for their family and others saying, “...prided herself on "making do" when feeding her family. If very careful, a woman could feed a family of six on five dollars a week...Mothers could make a pot roast last an entire week...Vegetable gardens sprang up in backyards and vacant city lots. Women did their own canning, pickling, and preserving…” (Hanes). These women were inspiring and thought of the most interesting
This period of time changed America. The depression and the war will never be forgotten. Americans were slammed with tragic of no jobs, no money, and no way to get by. Franklin D. Roosevelt spent the first 100 days in office creating programs to help the nation. The social security poster demonstrates that America acted responsible because it shows a post man’s hand handing a social security check to someone over 65. The capital, which represents the government, wanted to make sure the citizens were getting money they needed even when they could not work. There is no other way to be responsible as a nation than to take care of the people.
American life prior to World War II may have not been the best from 1931-1939. Already in the Great Depression that started in 1929 people were left very discouraged and hopeless. In 1932 the economy was the worst it had ever been, it had hit rock bottom (p. 850). Many had lost their jobs and over 11 million Americans could not find work (p. 850). America was at its worst and people were hungry, suicide rates had risen and people were having less children than ever before. People’s reaction to the
Many historians and photographers regard a black and white photograph of an exhausted woman with her three children as the most influential representation of the Great Depression. Taken in 1936 by photojournalist Dorothea Lange, the photograph titled ‘Migrant Mother’ has become an iconic representation of the impoverished migrant workers and their families.
Florence in the photograph portrays the real effects that the depression of 1929 had on people in the United States. The real intention