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The Milkman Metaphor

Photo courtesy of Rare Historical Photos https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/london-milkman-1940/

This is the Milkman. A famous photograph from World War Two, it features a man delivering milk on a bombed British street. When I first came upon this picture, it immediately struck me, and I saved it. It’s on the wall in my room. There is some talk that it may have been staged, but nonetheless, it holds great meaning.

The reason this picture resonates with me so much is what it symbolizes: perseverance. This Milkman is in the middle of one of the worst wars in human history. He walks over rubble from the destroyed homes and workplaces all around him. The entire photograph shows mere devastation, save for the dapper figure in the centre. Carrying the bottles of milk with care and delivering them just as always, the Milkman does his duty regardless of the destruction. His world is literally falling apart around him, and yet he goes on with his life, serving the other people in his community. He doesn’t let anything get in his way.

If there’s anything we can learn from this photograph, it’s that there’s always hope. Hope for change. Hope that one day things might make sense. Hope that there are people who’ve got your back all the way. We’ve just gotta keep on going.

So, as exam season approaches and the end of the year draws near, remember the Milkman, and just keep on keeping on. You can do this.

Shaelyn Ryan is a first year student at Queen's University, and is a fiction writer, having completed and self published two novels. She would love to answer questions and comments about her articles, writing, or anything at all at sjryan1900@gmail.com!
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