“American Dream”

*in the form of a visual rhetorical précis*


Bill Miller, in his photograph taken while walking down on an ordinary day on an ordinary street in the county of Los Angeles, depicts a hopeful yet dismal setting taken during one of the most banal days in the United States, specifically Los Angeles. The visual uses contrast in shading and in visuals in order to further emphasize his purpose for the photograph and Miller was able to create an ironic reality of the American mindset towards daily problems the lower classes of society have to go through, where the commonplace reaction would be to refuse the said problems of those who struggle. Miller was able to support this statement by first using the two main and significant aspects in this photograph with both the use of shading and the arrangement of the subjects of the photo, then through the use of wording in the foreground, there is just a further emphasis on the ‘brightness’ and ‘hopefulness’ of America while in the background where there is no wording, this lack of wording conveys a loss of ‘hope’ for those covered in the shadows, along with the lack of wording which only stresses on the idea that the United States government has no consideration of those who are struggling as lower class members of society.  This causes a certain irony to be created and thus leading to an analysis and belief that Miller is trying to convey that one’s ordinary and typical reaction-perspective towards the problems in the lives of those who are troubled and are struggling, is to ignore those who are not as able and in worse situations in order to aid those who are more capable in helping the nation and its people as a whole. Miller’s purpose is to express to American society, through irony, to see the realities and the catastrophes in the United States and know how it affects those who are related or involved with said problems, especially those who are in worse situations like those in lower classes in society. He adopts a tone of contradiction and compassion for the American people.

Do you believe that social discrimination still exists in modern day, like Miller? Or do you have a differing opinion on the general American social attitude towards problems with ethnicity and money?

What do you think?

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