People often say that Norman Rockwell painted an idealized view of American life, but some of his paintings portray a more Dickensian perspective with a social commentary that says "something's wrong here."
His painting "Apothecary" or "Pharmacist" shows a druggist mixing medicine with dirty and broken implements lying on a tattered old reference book. The sick boy has good reason to look doubtful. The glass on the framed diploma is cracked and the guy is smoking. His long underwear is showing under his sleeve, he's missing buttons, and he's got a lot of junk stuffed in his pockets. The pharmacist is not a bad guy; he's trying to help, but perhaps he's having a rough time himself.
By 1939 toward the end of the Great Depression, America looked a little the worse for wear, and terrible things were happening in Europe.