Dorothea Lange Research Paper

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Social Realism in the Work of Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) Dorothea Lange was an American photographer who was considered among the first documentary photographers in the history. She worked as a studio portrait photographer before she became a documentary photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in the 1930s. The aim of this essay is to critically analyze two example of Dorothea Lange’s photographs in relation to social realism in the Depression-era in America. In the period of the great Depression, economic failure that started in the beginning of the 30s until the World War II, Dorothea has produced her best work while working with (FSA) becoming one of the distinguished documentarians of the twentieth century. A group of…show more content…
The photo was taken during the Depression-era at the White Angel Jungle in San Francisco. The image displays a group of men lined up to get bread. The main focus of the image is an elderly man who wrapped his hand around a tin cup. Being the only person in the image that faces the view, he draws the most attention. His face expression, the position of his hand and the wrinkles of his hat reflects and identifies the sorrow and suffering of the people in that period. Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936) Migrant Mother is considered one of the most iconic photograph of Dorothea Lange’s photography. The image, taken 1936, is a part of the Dust Bowl documentation series photographed by Lange. The photo was presented as the image that captured the core of the Depression in that period. Lange stated ‘I knew I had recorded the essence of my assignment’ (cited in Davidov, 1998, p.234.) The women is the picture is a thirty two yeas old mother of seven children who lived in a tent in Nipomo Pea-Pickers’ Camp. The image shows the mother surrounded by three of her children and wearing dirty and raged cloths. The photographer was successful capturing the concerned gaze on the mother face which showed the effects of the Depression on the American…show more content…
This image has was continuously associated with the religious connotation of the Madonna and child. The similarities. Socially, the image signifies the notions of motherhood and femininity. Despite the hard circumstances of poverty and hardship, the mother has managed to preserve the unity of her family. The women reflected an exemplary image of role of a mother during the Depression (Roberts, 1998: 85, cited in Wells,

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