The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Letter From Home

In this photo U.S. Marine LCpl. Stephen Plumer is reading a letter from home. While most of his face is obscured it’s easy to assume he is pleased about his letter. For some soldiers these letters are the only part of home they have and they cherish every one. This photo really  speaks for itself. It could easily become an iconic image for 
America because it has many traits of an iconic photo. 
By glancing at this photo there are some things that I think make it a strong enough photo for political use. The soldier is crouched down and centered giving the illusion of strength and power. His arms are in an open position saying that he is laid back and relaxed at that moment. The fact that his face is partially covered makes it easier to put yourself in his shoes and imagine fighting for our country. This is sort of similar to the Migrant Woman missing the male authority figure which makes it easier for people to relate by taking his role. The camouflage he’s wearing and the flag in his helmet make it clear to the viewer that he is an American soldier and someone that we should be supporting.
This photo could be used for political expediency in many ways for many different viewpoints. It could be used as a photo asking people to support our troops by supporting the war. Or it could be used to ask people to support our troops and oppose the war. This picture could just be to simply remember all of the soldiers fighting for the U.S.  
-Lauren Oliver
Photo credit: Raedle/Getty Images, Joe. Remembering What Home Was Like. 2003. Photograph. Life. See Your World, LLC., 30 Mar. 2003. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. < gallery/26872/words-of-comfort-wartime-letters>.

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