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Word Count: 1,226
A Picture is Worth a Thousand WordsJames Agee and Walker Evans work together in the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men to describe the lives of three tenant farmers and their families in the Deep South Agee tells the story though his words while Evans uses his pictures to let us see the truth behind the lives of these families Their work complements one another but can also stand alone Agee states The photographs are not illustrative They and the text are coequal mutually independent and fully collaborative Agee and Evans XI This shows that they may have worked together in order to create this book but each piece is fully capable of pulling their own weight to illustrate the lives and hardships of these tenant farmers Through careful examination of Evans photographs and Agees writing it is possible to get a bigger picture of how these three families live day to day It creates a reality that one can connect to and see them for who they truly are Agees text refrains from referring directly to Evans pictures However he does refer to the camera as the central instrument of our time 9 Agee strives to findthe pattern of the effort and truth as a whole 8 However he admits that he is only human and that he does have limits and uncertainties while writing this book He explains But to a person of my uncertainty undertaking a task of this sort that plane and matter are not within reach and could only falsify what by this manner of effort may at least less hopelessly approach clarity and truth 9 The whole goal is to feed off of his curiosity and continue to try to write to the best of his ability Agee stresses the importance of finding techniques that will properly record communicate analyze and defend the nominal subject North American cotton tenantry while examining three families He finds that the immediate
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