Babies are often used as a symbol for “new” — just recall the “New Year’s Baby.” But they’re also objectified for many other symbolic needs, such as the “victim.” Here are two babies from advertisements in the same 1938 magazine — one happy and the other sad — one is innocently hawking Bell Telephone (along with some adult patter) while the other is an innocent casualty of the tragic Spanish Civil War, a “victim of Hitler and Mussolini in Spain.” One ad attacks our conscious; the other triggers our conscience. Both toy with our emotions.

The baby picture is an ad in a 1938 magazine. The baby picture is an ad in a 1938 magazine.

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