Journal 4: The Construction of the American Dream

A picture is a thousand words. This idea is expressed through the what your mind perceives the picture to be. Picture’s don’t have their meanings written on them for the viewer to read and comprehend right away. Everyone has their own idea and opinion of what they believe the picture displays. All the authors have taken excellent pictures. Each and every one of these pictures the artists have created, resemble something very special and important to the audiences. Even though all these pictures represent something significant in the history of America, and are incredibly outstanding, I would say my personal favorite is “Riveters attaching a Beam,” 1931, taken by Lewis Wickes Hines.

Hine photographed four men working on the 92nd Floor of the Empire State Building in 1931. This picture speaks out to me on a personal level because I’ve been in the construction industry for 3 years, and I plan to pursue a career in civil engineering. Recently, construction workers have been given a hefty amount of rights due to the OSHA ACT which was passed in 1970. The OSHA ACT is the right to a safe workplace for all workers. Prior to this, there were no laws administrated for the safety and wellbeing of construction workers. These men that are shown in the picture are working on top of the buildings without any safety measures. People need to understand and appreciate that time, money, blood, and sweat were put into each building constructed. These buildings and skyscrapers aren’t just bricks upon bricks, or metal upon metal, they’re much more than that. They are landmarks that remind us of the history of New York and how hard everyone worked back then to produce what we have now. Some people might think these buildings are just standing here. For me, I believe they are standing there to represent something huge, the American Dream. Meaning, the dream of a better society to live in. We all have it in us to help ourselves and others in the making of this city, this nation, and to grow as a whole, and I think that’s one of the main points Hine was trying to making in his photograph.

This picture stood out to me because it made me appreciate the sights that I’m eligible to see today thanks to everyone who contributed. I love these skyscrapers and this picture has made me realize under what conditions people had to go through to make them. Not only do I respect my surroundings more now, but I investigate deeper and appreciate the efforts of our elders, because if it wasn’t for their hard work, and sacrifice, we would still be searching for better place to live in.


Best Regards,

Ahsan Aziz

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4 Responses to Journal 4: The Construction of the American Dream

  1. Gary Almonte says:

    Yes, I do agree that a picture is worth one thousand words, but not all picture is worth one thousand words. For example, people who taking a selfie. I also agree that people make inference on the photograph. I like that you are very passionate about this photograph and you incident your future job into the photograph. You did a great job adding the history of the worker’s work condition Maybe next time, you may want to not make assumptions that everyone don’t appreciate the construction worker because you made it seem like no one cares. None of the less, the empire state building is the most iconic building in New York City. It will still be standing there for many decades.

  2. Great Journal Ahsan! I really liked your inclusion of history.

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