There are four main individuals contained within this painting who are situated in the foreground. A mother is sitting on a small stone wall of what looks to be someone’s yard. On her lap is a baby wrapped in a sling that is enclosed around the woman’s body. To the left of her is a young boy. He is leaning into her which shows that they have a close bond. The three look as though they are there to encourage the little girl on the right who is selling flowers. She is more than likely the daughter of the seated woman and a sister to the little boy and baby.
It is a gloomy looking day as the pavers she stands upon are wet and there is a dull grey sky in the background. The mother is staring off into the distance while the young boy admires his sister as she holds her daffodils. The infant on the lady’s lap appears to be fast asleep. From all of these factors it can be concluded that they belong to one another as a family. How meaning is Shaped by the Composer The title of this artwork, ‘The Pinch of Poverty’, plays a key role in describing what the painting is actually about.
Body language, facial expression and costume also contribute to shaping meaning. ‘The Pinch of Poverty’ suggests that the people within the painting are living in a time of destitution. Their clothes are drab and darkly toned which indicates that they were not a family of wealth. None of the characters in the image are smiling which indicates that they are not happy with their current situation. However, even though their setting seems somewhat negative there is that beam of optimism reflected through their actions. The mother and her two young children are there supporting her eldest child.
They are situated behind the small girl while she works to earn whatever little money she can. Such a relationship shows that the people who love you will always stand by you, no matter how difficult the circumstances may be. Comparison with the Set Text This type of relationship between the mother and children in the painting ‘The Pinch of Poverty’ can be ideally related to that of all the parents and children being broken up in “The Crucible”. In particular the situation in the artwork can be closely associated with that of Elizabeth Proctor and her three children.
She wants the best for her children and in rough times as these, her ability to protect them grows weak. All of the talk of witch hunts in the town of Salem has made all the general public suspicious. In turn, this has resulted in the accusing of innocent persons. One of which is Goody Proctor. A band of officials arrive at her homestead and demand she go with them to court as she has been accused. Her husband John puts up quite a fight but Elizabeth acts quite subdued. Before she leaves her home she makes sure that her children are not harmed by her absence.
Elizabeth: “John, I think I must go with them… When the children wake, speak nothing of witchcraft – it will frighten them… Tell the children I have gone to visit someone sick. ” From this quote it can be established that Elizabeth is very concerned for her children’s wellbeing. She does not want them to worry about anything that is going on, for Elizabeth knows very well that she is innocent. This is connected with the painting “The Pinch of Poverty” in the respect of a mother trying to care for her children. The woman is sitting there with her daughter rather than leaving her alone to keep her safe.
The other two children are also close to her and she has them in a protective position with her body and hands shielding them. Personal Reflection Mothers are instinctually protective and I have now realised how protective they can be. By not telling their children the exact truth, mothers try to guard them from being hurt, scared or upset. I have learnt that even though lying is not a nice thing to do it may be relevant to do so in certain situations to produce a better result. By mothers knowing that their children are safe they can then be pleased and feel comfortable.
Courtney from Study Moose
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