Sunday, June 5, 2011
Two Girls, One Boy
My best guess is that this picture was taken in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century and what a future these children would face. Let's assume that these three kids are children of an American middle class. All children of the poor and working classes were raised to eventually make a living, but for the middle class and the wealthy, girls were raised to make a marriage. They would have been given an education that would have given them a certain amount of charm, wit, and grace. Perhaps it would have included a women's college, perhaps not. Boys would have been raised to their father's business, a true career, and membership in an appropriate club. But things change. These three would have faced World War 1, a flu pandemic that may have killed as many as 100,000,000 people in eighteen months. Then the roaring twenties, probably the period of greatest social change in the last 100 years. Then the great depression, 30 % unemployment at a time when most women didn't work which probably would translate into 50 % unemployment by today's standards. Then World War 2, and if these three kids were born no earlier than the 1890s, there was a decent chance that, at the least, they lived to see Korea and the beginning of Vietnam. May you live in interesting times.