Migrant Mother, 1936 Mr.Pierangeli
US History 2 Block 2
Q1: Why does she look so disturbed, or broken?
Q2: Why is she considered "Migrant Mother"?
Q3: Why are the cildren looking away from the camera? "We just existed. We surivied. Lets put it that way." (Phelan 1) These are the words that came from the woman in the photograph, known as Migrant Mother. Her name is Florence Thompson. The picture is The Migrant Mother by Dorthea Lange. Ms Lange was a photographer for the Resettlement Administration (photograpers who documented migrant workers. She turned her direction towards the suffering that she was surrounded by and came across something that really caught her eye. Sooner than later, in March of 1936, at a camp full of unemployed pea pickers. The cause for all of the unemployment was because the crops were destroyed by freezing rain leaving there nothing to be picked. The Great Depresson was very harsh on farms at the time. While walking through the camp Lange came across Ms Thompson sitting in a tent with all seven of her children sitting lose by. Ms Lange was so mesmerized on this specific family. Ms Thompson stated that, [she and her children] had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that her children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food."(Phelan 1) Lange then proceded to take a total of six pictures one of which became the historic photo of The Depression and a very common photograph of the 20th century. When Lange returned home she met with the editor of a San Fancisco newspaper about two of her photos. The editor continued to then notify the fedreal authorities and established an article in the newspaper with the images of Ms Thompson and her children. Some citizens were so shocked, to see that the workers who were providing for Americans could not even feed themselves. Therefore, the government gathered up 20,00lbs of food an shipped it to the camp. But by the time the photograph was published in the paper Ms Thompson and her family had already moved to the next town. All in all, the Thompson familly, which grew to ten, worked their way in to the middle class around 1983. We never had alot, but she always made sure we had something. She didnt eat somethimes, but she made sure my sister, two brothers and I ate. My name is Vieoletta, we are from Portland, Oregon in a little town referred to as "Hooverville". Our home was ripped from our hands when poverty struck, now we are, for now, here. Its called Hooverville because my ma blames the president, Hoover, for letting the nation slowly slip into the great depression. During the 20s everyone was buying