In 1973 Turner left his full time teaching job at Hulme Hall School to become an artist. Whilst he was taking steps towards doing what he had always dreamed of the decision would not have been made lightly.
This bleak painting, set in Stockport, depicts a lonely figure trudging across the front of the canvas. The title tells the viewer this person is without a job and so one can't help but immediately make the connection between him and Turner. The loose brushwork implies that this is one of Turner's later works and is thus a reflective piece based on the time when Turner was himself with out work.
This sole figure can be seen in many of Turner's works. In this piece it has been painted in line with a fast moving train which helps to highlight how fatigued the figure is. It could be said that this painting is a haunting reminder of one's own mortality. The train represents just how quickly life moves and the figure has a decision to make; does it move with the flow or sit around and wait for old age to take him?