Monday, 7 March 2016

Depression Era Photography

Drought refugees from Oklahoma looking for work in the pea fields of California. Near San Jose Mission. 1935. By Dorothea Lange

This image particularly caught my eye as it portrays what is viewed by Lawrence Levine as the "Perfect Victims". In this image the perfect victims; the children are used in an emotive way to make the viewer feel sympathetic towards the victims. Also the fact that no men are pictured within the photograph suggests that the men are out looking for work, while the women look after the children, thus enforcing the idea of gender roles in the 20th century. 

Also in the image we can see that they have a lot of luggage and what can be described as all their belongings in the back of their car, this along with the caption suggests that they have left their home or have possibly been removed from their home by authorities. 

In the picture we can see that the individuals are quite clean showing that they perhaps look after themselves and ensure to keep themselves looking clean, especially the children to give almost a sense of normality. The cleanliness of the people is contrasted to their car and belongings. 

This can be related to the American Dream as the image has been taken in California, a very western state, suggesting that the movement westward in hopes for the American Dream did not work out. Thus portraying it as a failure in obtaining their American Dream. 

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