Propaganda re-mix

Does this 1942 U.S. propaganda poster look familiar?  Seen something like this woman and child, in this pose, before?

To me it looks suspiciously similar to Dorothea Lange’s 1936 photograph, “Migrant Mother,” which depicted Florence Owens Thompson and her children.


Why might the poster artist, Xavier Gonzalez, &/or the US Government Printing Office have decided to play off this image? What connotations did it already have among the American public? What sympathies or ideas did it invoke?


2 thoughts on “Propaganda re-mix”

  1. The easiest reason for why they played off this image would be for its notoriety, this photograph was and still is one the most iconic portraits in American photography. Which means even at a quick glance and even though the propaganda is slightly different it is still easily recognizable. Another reason would be that the images bring about similar emotions, a sense of sorrow and a need to help those people.

  2. I agree with Duncan that they used the fame of the picture to draw attention to this one. Also, a picture of a mother protecting a child is one that many people can relate to. It draws sympathy from most people, which makes this an effective form of propaganda.

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