Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Slum children at play, Washington, D.C. Children in their backyard near the Capitol.


This picture is especially powerful as it depicts children as it main focus and does not show adults or any kind of authority and so connotes a further impression that these children seem abandoned, not just by their parents but by America as it is failing to provide them with the kind of happy, safe, childhood depicted in American Dream propoganda. Their backyard is reminiscent of a wartime photograph, with disintergrated objects abandoned and no grass by dirt to play with. The boys are visibly skinny and have no shoes on as if they are at the beach playing with sand; but as the viewer of this picture can see, the boys face is turned away as if disinterested. This is not a happy depiction of nostalgic childhood.

I feel that this image symbolises the end of The American Dream as a concept that can any longer be sold to its people as a carefree and safe childhood is the epitome of succeeding in the American Dream- achieving financially and moving up in social psosition. It is mentioned in the description of this photograph that where they lived was both a white and black area, which again in this time shows that they were not affluent. The very fact that they are white children adds to the shockingness of the  photograph as they looking like arcetyple wholesome American boys and not what is normally associated with the inhabitants of slums, as in minority ethnicities. Although noticably several attempts have been made, their hair looks neat and they appear washed. The Great Depression affected even those generally most protected by their parents. The image of America as having the best standard of living is severly undermined by an image that looks as if it could have been similarly taken in a third world country.

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