September 5, 1942 |
The War at Home
In this cover, we see the impact of the war on domestic industry, specifically with regard to the
drastic increase in women who found industrial jobs during the war. With every able bodied man either in Europe
or training to go abroad, and with the demand for labor for war industries rising dramatically, millions of women
entered the work force for the first time, performing jobs which here-to-fore only men had held. The image of women in the work force
was perhaps best expressed in the character of "Rosie the Riveter." This cover shows both working men and women taking their lunch
breaks. The differences in the ways in which the men and women are represented here are quite interesting.
While the men appear rather detached and are dressed in plain clothes, the women sit in a circle laughing and talking, and are dressed
in bright colors. This likely reflects different attitudes toward work on the part of the two groups. The women are probably
very pleased with the work they are doing and the contribution which they are making to the war effort, since before WWII
they had only been able to help war efforts in certain very limited ways. The men, on the other hand, have likely been rejected from
the army do to physical reasons, and would much prefer to be fighting rather than working in the factory. Unlike the women, they are unable to make
as much of a contribution as they wish. This picture thus reflects the different attitudes toward work on the home front
which people had based upon their gender and their situations, as well as some of the
psychological tensions which the war created.