Migrant Mother’s Image Inspired John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”

Sometime an image can be so powerful, so moving it inspire an author to write a back story. That’s what the famous image taken by photographer Lange (Dorothea Lange) of Migrant Mother named Florence Owens Thompson did for John Steinbeck. It inspired him  to tell these people’s story. Florence Owens Thompson is the real life Ma Joad.

The pictures captured the true essence of these people lives. Many may have thought they were sitting on a porch. I know I did. But they aren’t. They are living under a dirty, tatterdemalion of a tent. Neither did I know there was a baby in her lap. Believe it or not, the mother is only 32 years old.


Migrant Mother

Here’s the iconic image which everyone knows. The others are part of the series. Sadly, the woman had the most recognized face in America but it did nothing to aid her terrible situation. The Migrant Mother image made Dorothea Lange’s reputation, helped earn her a Guggenheim fellowship, and conferred fame and a permanent place among the hallowed halls of American photographers. Lange certainly deserved her success; she had an eye, talent, training, and drive. Yet it seems unjust and unfair that Migrant Mother, one of the most successful, iconic photographs in American history, helped so many others to fame and fortune, but did nothing for the woman whose face and body were able to express so much pain, agony and humiliation in such a humble and humanity way.

About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian, who is also a long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and later at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
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