Monthly Archives: April 2016

WPA Poster Blog Post

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The WPA, or Works Progress Administration, was established during the Great Depression, when President Franklin Roosevelt recognized the dire national need for jobs. WPA produced many posters to help promote job possibilities to the American public, which was very significant especially during a time when internet did not exist, and posters like these were one of the most efficient ways of spreading important new information. This specific poster, which says “Save our Wildlife”, highlights the aspect of the New Deal that began to address natural preservation and conservation. Additionally, the bottom of the poster mentions the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior, which were established because of integral acts and associations created and supported by FDR. There are many things that we take for granted today in our society, such as having organized trash pick ups and paved roads, that were not as easily assumed to exist during the time of the Great Depression. The ideas of national parks, and natural and wildlife preservation were very new concepts for people to grasp during this time, but it greatly helped society by providing people with jobs as well as conserving our natural world. In examining this poster more closely, we see that the words are small and at the bottom, while most of the poster is focused on a flying bird and a sunset, which really forces us to concentrate on the nature and wildlife. The importance of wildlife is further emphasized simply in the arrangement of the words “Save our Wildlife”. This poster, as well as many others, offers a strong insight into this time period and more specifically the effects of the New Deal on society, in many ways.

Perception of Women in Daisy Miller, by Henry James

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Henry James’ Daisy Miller brings up many questions about the presentation of women during a different time period. Seemingly set in the late 19th century, Henry James directs the reader’s attention to how women of that time were viewed, especially because of their perceived sexual attitudes. Daisy Miller envelops all of the qualities of a flirtatious girl, during a time when this was absolutely socially unacceptable. We see the direct result of this in the unfamiliarity of this demeanor, and the frustration that it brings, in Winterbourne’s character. Daisy’s flirtatiousness, and her opinion on her perceived reputation are highlighted when James writes “‘Does Mr. Winterbourne think,’ she asked slowly, smiling, throwing back her head, and glancing at him from head to foot, ‘that, to save my reputation, I ought to get into the carriage?’” (Norton C, 446).  Furthermore, her effect on Winterbourne is emphasized when James describes how “Winterbourne colored; for an instant he hesitated greatly. It seemed so strange to hear her speak that way of her ‘reputation’” (Norton C, 446). James contributes an extremely significant story to a collection of some of the greatest literary works in history, largely because he introduces questions of sexuality and reputation of women during a time when the world had a very narrow view of how a woman should and should not act.