Essay On Rosie The Riveter

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Rosie the Riveter is one of the most famous icons in American history. She stands as a powerful reminder of the American women’s essential contributions to victory during World War II. Rosie was not an actual person, but a symbol for millions of American women who stepped up to help during the war effort, challenging the traditional female role as homemaker. The Rosie character was used in many war marketing efforts including an oil painting done by the famous painter, Norman Rockwell, called “Rosie the Riveter.” His painting was distributed to millions via the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Memorial Day in 1943 ( Staff). Norman Rockwell’s masculine depiction of Rosie the Riveter challenges gender roles while supporting the …show more content…

A traditional woman’s normal tasks consisted of raising the children, cleaning the home, and preparing each meal (Ciulla 508). Many husbands would not have tolerated their wives getting a job during the depression, but patriotic duty during the war provided the justification for temporarily transcending these traditional roles (Gluck 156). When the war came along the men went to war leaving behind many jobs on US soil that needed to be filled. This necessitated a dramatic reassessment of a woman’s role in American life (Honey 1).
The government started marketing these jobs to women. The patriotic need for women to enter the workforce was stressed through posters, photographs, music, movies, newspapers, and articles. Approximately six million women answered the call to enter the workforce. Between 1940 and 1945 women in the workforce went from 27% to 37% ( Staff). Women began to embrace and make changes in their work and family roles that substantially challenged conventional notions of femininity (Anderson …show more content…

Rockwell displays Rosie cradling her riveter instead of a child, but it has been said that the pose of Rockwell’s haloed Rosie cradling her riveter resembles the painting from the Renaissance called “Madonna and Child with two Angels,” by Fra Filippo Lippi. Rosie’s face mask sitting on top of her head could also symbolize a traditional headdress like the Madonna may have worn. Just as Rockwell painted Rosie cradling her hydraulic gun, so did propagandists portray production workers in a maternal light. Women who were in the workforce prior to World War II were viewed as sexual sirens so in order to accommodate the recruitment campaign, the government made an effort to portray women as temporary workers whose families came first, and they found congenial nuances in motherhood (Honey 481). Rockwell’s Rosie appears to be wearing a Blue Star Flag pin. This pin implies that she has a son in the war, which is another way to portray her in a maternal or feminine

In this essay, the author

  • Describes rosie the riveter as a powerful reminder of the american women's essential contributions to victory during world war ii.
  • Explains that before world war ii, the traditional role for a middle-class american woman consisted of raising the children, cleaning the home, and preparing each meal. however, patriotic duty provided the justification for temporarily transcending these traditional roles.
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