Jobless on Edge of Pea Field by Dorothea Lange

The photograph “Jobless on Edge of Pea Field” was captured by the artist Dorothea Lange in Imperial Valley, California. The image is monochromatic, adhering to the era’s common black-and-white photographic style.

The photograph depicts a man sitting on the ground with his arms crossed over his knees. He wears a wide-brimmed hat and work-worn clothes, suggesting he may be a laborer. His gaze is directed off into the distance, not looking at the camera, and he appears contemplative or perhaps worried. Behind him, a vast pea field stretches out, indicating the agricultural environment in which he exists. The focus on the figure and his expression suggests the economic and emotional strain of joblessness during the time the photograph was taken. The setting is stark and bare, further underscoring the themes of hardship and uncertainty.

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