DBQ Essays

Today, while I was procrastinating some very important assignments, I did what most people in their young 20s usually do when procrastinating — look up some good ol DBQ(Document-Based Question) essays. Now, if you’re not familiar with these so called essays, that means you probably had a terrible childhood. There was nothing more exhilarating than walking into your 5th grade classroom knowing you had to read through some unnecessary historical paragraphs and analyze old pictures in a very short amount of time. Being the generous kind of man I am, I have decided to analyze some historical DBQ pictures for old times sake and relive my glory days.

1) “Broke Boy”.

You hate to see this one, man. This middle-aged man who is severely broke and has a hair-line that would make most people kill themselves, went go buy food for his starving family during the war, but couldn’t afford it.

This picture can be interpreted in many different ways, I believe this picture actually speaks volumes on class warfare in the United States. As we can see on the far left, the middle-aged lady symbolizes the proletariats and 1%’ers of society, while the impoverished man represents the rest of the America. His hairline clearly manifests the rapid decline of the middle-class and number of available jobs in this country. The cashier on the far right is obviously meant to symbolize the greed of the American government and how they cater to the rich and powerful while they continue to ignore the cries from the rest of the country. Truly a powerful picture.

2) Two Asians? Pull Army General

Another extremely powerful picture that shook me to core when I first saw it. You don’t need to be much of a historian to see the overt symbolism in this photo. The apathetic man sitting in the carriage gazing his eyes into the distance represents American society, while the two men pulling it symbolizes our heavy reliance on Asian people to carry us through math.

3) Heaven

This one is actually just me and the boys on a casual Friday night after we get a few bud heavies in our system.

4) Women Have Muscles Too

Finally, one of the most iconic DBQ pictures of all time, ‘Rosie The Riveter’. During WWII, while most men were gone serving in the war, we needed women to take over non-traditional jobs. This poster was meant to be a motivator to women nationwide as their spouse was getting gunned down fighting overseas.

I however, believe this picture has many underlying themes, starting with the obvious one: Rosie’s bandana. The bandana clearly symbolizes the rise of gang violence in the 1940s, but not the traditional gangs you’re thinking of, this gang is actually the USA itself. After WWII many historians will tell you that the USA was extremely power hungry and would find any excuse to go to war, sounds sort of like a street gang, right? The flexing of her arm was drawn in to represent the prominence of the mafia and how they would strong-arm many powerful people and were the puppet masters running the country. Mind-numbing, a picture truly is worth 1000 words.

Well I hope you guys enjoyed this and it brought you back to simpler times. Thanks for reading! If you want to create a dialogue find me on the twitter @chrisbenzola


About Chris Benzola

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