A Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange Essay

A Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange

            This photograph focused on an overworked woman who seemed worried about her and her family’s living condition. Lange took this snapshot along with six other pictures at a “pea-pickers camp” in California. The migrant woman depicted in the photograph was the “the widowed mother of eight children at the time this was taken.” Her only source of income for her family was the money she earned from picking beets and sometimes her children would help her in the lettuce fields (J.

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Paul Getty Trust “Dorothea Lange”). Basically, the story behind this dramatic picture is about a woman and her children trying to fend for themselves during the Great Depression in the the US.

            Lange was drawn by the look of despair and emptiness in the woman’s eyes that swayed her to take the infamous image. She wanted to impart to her viewers that this kind of situation really exists – that there were people in some parts of America that were living below the poverty level.

More so, because of the photograph the government quickly remedied the situation and started to cater to the basic needs of the workers such as food and water (J. Paul Getty Trust “Dorothea Lange”).

            In terms of persuasion, I think that image is more powerful than texts because it provides a visual representation of a particular situation. People tend to easily grasp the meaning of an image compared to written words because portraits or symbols can enhance one’s interpretation of the subject thus a more comprehensive idea or output can be  produced.

Works Cited

“Dorothea Lange.” J. Paul Getty Trust. 24 June 2008             <http://www.getty.edu/education/for_teachers/curricula/dorothea_lange/


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