Loss Of Innocence In Dorothea Lange's Work

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Photographs are snap shots of the past, they are memories. Just like a fleeting image in your memory, sometimes the details of the image become fuzzy and the context of the image is lost. When this happens, we lose valuable information of what the photograph was trying to tell us. In some cases we have the photograph, when and where it was taken but somehow the purpose of the image is still muddled. As in Dorothea Lange’s work, the images have been meticulously taken to try and convey a certain theme to the viewer. Lange’s photograph of two ‘college students of Japanese ancestry who have been evacuated from Sacramento to the Assembly Center, Manzanar, California 1942’, captures the innocence of the Japanese and American Japanese people in the internment camps by only showing the smiling faces of two young men and chooses to ignore the problems outside of the frame –racism, loss of citizenship, forceful…show more content…
The men are shown from the knees up standing in front of a very plain, dark background that makes their light skin jump from the flat surface. Lange was presumably standing at eye level with the young gentlemen and either took the photograph very close to them or cropped the photo so that they were the focus of the piece. By framing them in front of a dark background all the viewer sees is a pair of bright-faced, young college students who look to be analogous to any other college student in the United States at the time. Both young men are dressed in Americanized style clothing, with a relaxed attitude that comes across as them having a feeling of peace, friendship, and innocence. The title has a significant impact on the piece by showing that even younger generations of Japanese and Japanese Americans were ripped from their homes, schooling, and lives to be placed in life devastating internment camps when most of them were in fact American

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