Painted three years after Fraternity of Men, this work presents a far more pessimistic view of the world. Within those years, Sert saw Europe at war and the world as having given up on the idea of international peace. Symbolizing this sad period, Contest - 1940 also shows the five races of mankind, here kicking the world around as if playing a game of football. The men are depicted as angry, focused and intent on winning. The contrasting murals and views of mankind were presented just prior to America entering the war.