Boat of No Smiles: Textual Analysis
Use picture “Boat of No Smiles” by Eddie Adams 1977 to analyze texts.
The “Boat of No Smiles” is a picture by Eddie Adams captured in 1977. The picture features the faces of three people; a woman and two children. The woman is holding one of the children who appears to be asleep while the other child is seated by his own leaning on his hand. From a glance, the three faces show an expression of extreme hopelessness. The text under the picture gives an account of the circumstances under which the picture was taken.
Despite the high numbers of refugees living in foreign lands, their plight is rarely explained and hardly understood by most people. The suffering that the refugees undergo before they are allowed to enter host countries is unrivaled. Refugees are mostly featured in their destinations, and not much attention is given to their journeys. Before settling in their final destination, the refugees face various rejections that lengthen their journey. The long journeys contribute to health deterioration and deaths. Many people have probably been to refugee camps; however, only a few have witnessed the expression in their faces upon the denial of entry to a location where they had hoped to find refuge.
In discourses about refugees, people are more likely to disregard their plight due to high numbers. However, an encounter with them or an illustration in picture form could change one’s direction of thinking (Adams). Refugees lack all forms of comfort and hardly afford a smile. Even the innocent children, having encountered so many challenges in their journey, lose their happiness, and wear gloomy faces. The picture “Boat of No Smiles” illustrates the feeling of refugees when they are turned away. Women and children tend to make the greatest percentage of refugees as they are perceived to be weaker than men.The photo was taken early morning in 1977 on the annual Thanks Giving Day (Adams). Normally, people are expected to show excitement on such a day. However, the group of refugees have nothing to be thankful for having been turned away after a long journey in a small boat that is not even stable. A capacity of 50 people was far much too high for an average fishing boat (Adams). The refugees had thrived many challenges in their journey, and a turn-off would be the least expected outcome. The author of the text states that the doors were set open for the refugees later in America after the photos of their suffering were circulated and presented to the congress. The move by the United States’ government asserts the powerful nature of pictures in soliciting sympathy. In the absence of the pictures, the congress would have been unable to find out about the state of the refugees who had been turned away.
Boat of No Smiles is just one of the iconic pictures that have been taken in history. The pictures taken by Eddie Adams on the Thanks Giving Day had a lasting impact not only on the lives of the refugees but also triggered a close consideration of the plight suffered by all refugees. Pictures carry a high level of conviction. They give evidence to what has been written and prove to the masses that certain stories are just not made up. They show ordinary people undergoing extreme suffering or performing extraordinary things.
Adams, Eddie. Boat of No Smiles. 1977. 26 May 2020.