Sunday, 6 March 2016

Great Depression Era Photography

This photo shows a farmer who looks like he has given up hope. The title of the photo enhances this as it is called "Circleville, Ohio's "Hooverville" . Begins to talk: "No man in the United States had the trouble I had since 1931. No man. Don't talk to me. I'm deaf. I lost my farm in 1931. I went to work in an acid factory. I got acid spilt on me; burnt my nose and made me blind. Then I get those awful headaches. I've been to lots of doctors, but that doesn't help me. They come on at sundown. No man in the United States had the trouble I had since 1931." (This last repeated many times through his talking.) "No man. It must be getting on to 6 o'clock now. My head's beginning to pain." He cannot comprehend the destruction that the Great Depression has caused him, he has lost his whole livelihood of farming and when he finds a new job it injures him. He is an example of the American Dream as he worked hard in the farming industry which was once such a promising industry, however due to the rise of mechanisation he lost the American Dream. The man would seem to be fortunate of the times because he managed to find another job after he lost his farm, but has had some disastrous circumstances that have left him severely hurt.

His body language is very slouched and unwelcoming, particularly as he is hiding his face which suggests that he has given up or is embarrassed of the position that he is in. As we cannot see his face it is hard to know what age he is, his long beard would suggest that he is an older man. As a result of this he has had to go through a lot of struggles. The fact that he has had to give up his farm also means that he has given up both his livelihood and his home. This is the reason why the title of the photograph is so bitter and so lengthy because it represents his emotions, it is emphasised by the repetition of "No man in the United States had the trouble I had since 1931". This reinforces the fact that the farm crashed before the wall street crash, which would have significantly reduced the value of his land and crops before the Great Depression had occurred. Therefore those in the farming industry were one of the most hard hit groups of the period.

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