Dorothea Lange And John Steinbeck Essay

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During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, there was mass unemployment, starvation, and millions desperate for a job. Farmers in the midwest, in particular, were hounding for employment, for their farms were destroyed by drought, the dust that followed the drought, the sweltering summers, and the harsh winters. They could no longer sustain a suitable life on their land, so they moved west to California, where jobs working on large farms were advertized. Workers expected livable wages and a stable environment, but instead, they encountered thousands workers looking for the same job as the person next to them, living on pitiful wages and in ratty tents with their families dying of starvation.
People set out to make the unjust, terrible conditions of the migrant workers known. Dorothea Lange and John Steinbeck are both known for their works in which they capture the struggles of migrant workers in California. Both have one main goal in their respective works, photography and “Starvation Under the Orange Trees,” and that is to make their audiences sympathize with the migrant farm workers in California who hailed from Oklahoma and several other southwestern and midwestern states by drawing them in emotionally. However, the two artists have very different tones and approaches towards the reader. Lange is subtle, relative to Steinbeck, on her message about the hardships migrant workers go through. Much of the subtlety comes from her medium: photography. Photography is often open to…

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