The Dust Bowl

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The dust bowl was a devastating time in the United States history that occurred during the 1930s, caused by atypically high temperatures, perpetual drought and new farming methods. Vigorous winds disturbed the topsoil, resulting in overwhelming dust storms which destroyed an immense amount of farms, in upwards of 100,000. These storms devastated the source of income for the farmers affected. The dust bowl was located in the Great Plains region, which includes the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Northern Texas. Thousands of workers were faced with an impasse, become a laborer, doing mindless work for miniscule wages, or move away and search for better work. (“Steinbeck in Schools”) The people brought to these decisions that chose to move…show more content…
The mother’s face shows a sense of humility; she knows that even despite difficulty and hardships, family sticks together. In her drained eyes, her gaze gleams with serenity, for the tiresome trek to California is finally over. The mother has faith that her family is safe and sound, and that she can finally provide for them. In conjunction with her facial expression, the ring on her finger symbolizes the sanctity of family and how family cannot be bought out. The mother could have effortlessly pawned off her ring, and gotten a few decent meals, or even a new pair of clothes out of it, however she chose not to. She would rather work so hard that she doesn’t even have time to tell her son not to eat the dirt, or even have time to care for herself. The mother’s hair is unkempt, and her tired eyes tell that she hasn’t slept well in a long time, but she would rather provide for her family than herself. She is trying her best and working towards a better future. Though they are in the middle of nowhere, the ring means that they are still together. The ring is a beacon through the storm, a symbol of what was, and hope for what will be. Lange intended for the viewer to understand how significant family was for the migrant…show more content…
She shows the ring, and how it symbolizes a better future, and a hope for what will be. Lange also managed to capture the fact that through the turmoil and rough times, children remained to be children and their childlike natures didn’t falter. Children still played and acted the same way that children not born in poverty did. It is important Lange took this picture for the reason that it shows and proves how the times were during the dust bowl, and the emotions involved. The living conditions can be visualized, such as the dirty, timeworn chair, and the worn out, filthy bed that they have to share. This image is valuable, as historical information is not enough. You could read a well written essay on the dust bowl, and the migrants affected, but you would still not feel the emotions involved. However, when you look at Lange's picture, you are flooded with these emotions. Lange did this to awaken those numb to how awful the dust bowl was. In this picture, you can see the desperation in the mother’s eyes, as well as her humility. You can see the sweet innocence of the baby sitting on the ground eating dirt. These details can be talked about and talked about, just as you have read, but the emotions aren’t until you’ve seen the picture. Without this picture, and others similar, the dust bowl would just be another sad or hopeful time in

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