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Throughout its history, the United States has often represented the promise of economic opportunity and religious freedom. Look at Immigrants to New York City (Jewish Refugees) and consider how the artist conveys the promise of America as set against the New York skyline. Then view Mahonri Young’s The Promised Land. What ideals and realities are balanced between these works?

Hidden image


Weary travelers portrayed in Immigrants to New York City (Jewish Refugees) oversee a foggy bay and the towering Statue of Liberty filled with the promise of hope for a better life. The few items of luggage owned by the Jewish refugees and their necks craning to take in the grandeur of the city promote the idea that their new lives will inevitably be more prosperous than that which they have left behind.

The tired men in Mahonri Young’s The Promised Land seem to portray a different image of the new life available to immigrants coming to New York. Considering the time period represented in U.S. history, these tired, sullen, idle, men appear to be victims of the Great Depression.