Passing Likeness Analysis

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As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. If we truly looked into the story and meaning behind a picture, it could be worth 1,000 more. The Migrant Mother series of pictures are some of the most well-known pictures in American history. But if we take a deeper look at the pictures as Sally Stein did in Passing Likeness, we see that these pictures truly represent something much more than what they were used for and what they’re known for today. This series of photographs was used to represent the struggling working class in America during The Great Depression. But if we truly look at the photos and the real story behind it, it could have been used to represent a much larger group, groups that were being swept under the rug. Lange was asked to take the pictures to “document conditions of rural labor for the New Deal’s FSA” (Looking Closer, 561); these pictures were representative of those conditions, but had Lange taken the time to really get to know the subject of her photographs and get her story, the photos could have been used to represent a much larger population. As it is generally known to the public, Florence Thompson was a white woman, struggling to provide for her family…show more content…
This wasn’t fully Lange’s fault, since “the woman who attracted Lange’s attention displayed no obvious signs of “Indianness”” so why should she assume otherwise (568)? Lange had proposed once before, and was shot down, photographing the living conditions of blacks and poor people living in suburban areas. But not once did she propose focusing on the forgotten minority groups, such as Native Americans. If she would have recognized her subject as Native American, she would have been depicting Native Americans as a group who are determined to survive, rather than a race than seems to be dying
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