Dorothea Longe Photography Annotations


This image is one of many families who attempted to migrate to California during 1936 to escape the Dust Bowl.


On the top half of the image we see the dominant element, an advertisement for a train. This will most likely be the focal point, as it takes up most space on the photo and has a brighter color than most of the objects. On the advertisement we can see a man who is lying his head down on a pillow, and seems to be having a happy and comfortable life. The text “travel while you sleep” is near the intersection points of the “rule of thirds” line, and is probably one of the dreams of migrating family as the journey will be tiring and especially harder for poor families.


Behind the advertisement is the subordinate element: a migrating family which seems to be having a break. On the bottom left corner, a child is playing with something that seems to be a bicycle. On the bottom left, adults are busy laying things on a table, perhaps preparing food, while the children look at the photographer holding stuffed animals.


This image creates a sad mood. The photographer used framing carefully to show the contrast between the rich and poor, also the dream and reality. People who can pay for a train ticket can enjoy the journey lying on comfortable beds. However the ones who cannot pay will have to be jammed in a car, driving for hundreds of miles and sleep in poor shelters.


This is similar to George and Lennie’s position. They keep on talking about having their own land, house and have rabbits. However most men have the same dream of having their own land, but most will fail as they spend their money in bar and gambling, and returning with nothing in the end.