Primary Document Review: Rosie The Riveter

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Bailey Gillen Robert Whitley History 132-620 8 July 2017 Primary Document Review: Rosie the Riveter by: Norman Rockwell Norman Rockwell’s painting of Rosie the Riveter successfully empowered women of the day and highlighted their contributions to the war effort. This painting is one of the most recognizable paintings from World War II today. Rockwell, although exaggerating the actual figure of his model, accurately displayed the patriotism shown in women of the work force. So much detail was put into the painting that there is a lot to be said as to what Rockwell was trying to convey. Rockwell was trying to spotlight the enormous roll women were playing in the war effort back home. He set out to depict women as strong, patriotic, and feminine. When the war started, the need for war products caused many manufacturing plants to switch over to meet this demand. This large demand caused many jobs to open up in manufacturing and the fact that a lot of men had left for the war only increased the need for workers. This is where women stepped in. Women desired to assist in the war effort and this was an opportunity for …show more content…

Rosie’s muscular build, confident pose, and the large piece of machinery in her lap all show her strength. The American flag waving behind her is an obvious symbol of patriotism while the less obvious autobiography of Hitler being crushed under her foot shows a defiance towards American enemies. There are several aspects Rockwell included to make sure that Rosie maintained a certain feminine quality. The first of which to be noted is her name: Rosie. The name is unmistakably a female name. A second aspect to be noticed is her lipstick, makeup, and hair. Glossy red lipstick, a bright red blush on the cheeks, and her hair done up in a bun adds to Rosie’s proudly feminine look. Rockwell cleverly hid these different details throughout his painting to convey the qualities he

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