The figures on the edges of this composition—a potbellied man wearing a hat, a man sitting in a lounge chair, and a woman rummaging in her beach bag—are oblivious to the sexually charged struggle happening in the center of the painting. The atmospheric turbulence of the sky and rippled surface of the sand likewise mirror the unsettling narrative. The deliberately limited range of pigments gives coherence to the crowded, complex composition, a pictorial metaphor for the social turmoil that roiled society during the Great Depression.