Loss Of Hope In Maynard Dixon's 'Forgotten Man'

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Maynard Dixon painted Forgotten Man in 1934 displaying the loss of hope man had during the Great Depression. The painting is stripped down in terms of color and objects which gives a viewer the opportunity to truly divulge into the emotions. However, this tactic increases the chance of the piece being looked over without a second thought. A man is sitting, adjacent to a fire hydrant, on a street curb eyes down with only the legs of people passing by shown in the background. The tones of the piece are muted allowing despair to be the focus. The color palette consists of muted earthy tones with a touch of brightness around the man. This expresses the lack of individuality during the Great Depression. Creativity had declined and the only goal man had was obtaining and maintaining a job. The placement of the man on a curb next to a fire hydrant furthers this expression. Industrialization was in full speed and individuals were no longer living a quiet country life. It was incredibly easy for one to feel alone. The texture is not completely smooth and the shapes are not…show more content…
Loss of work was an obvious struggle during the Great Depression and no doubt one the ‘Forgotten Man’ faced but the piece goes beyond surface. Man lost sense of community, motivation, and hope. The Depression may have caused citizens and the government to pull together in desperate need of support and comradery but that did not happen overnight. This piece shows a man, who is clearly not a hobo as he is dressed well and clean, being overlooked or as Dixon put it, forgotten. The frightful level of uncertainty the generation faced is unimaginable but they needed to remember they were not alone. Individuals needed to realize they could not leave their neighbors behind as depicted through the legs passing in the background of the piece. Times may become incredibly rough but that gives no excuse for
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