Great Depression Essay
All over the universe. people have different experiences of life due to the different challenges they face during their life-time. The same instance applies in America. There are different epochs and people who used to populate during those times have different experiences owing to the different issues that characterized each epoch. Some experiences are fantastic and thrilling but on the other manus. some were excessively hard and merely by imaginativeness one can merely sympathise with those who were in being during that peculiar clip. For case. Luke and Agnes an American twosome were merely 10 old ages old in their matrimony by the twelvemonth 1932.
They had gotten married in the twelvemonth 1920s. a period that was characterized by tonss of prosperity. Americans during this period were so hopeful for they were successful and used to believe that success really belonged to those who deserved it. Having married at that peculiar clip. Luke and Agnes were barely hit by the state of affairss that followed the collapsing of the American economic system during the great depression. In the twelvemonth 1929. the stock market collapsed on a Thursday forenoon due to assorted economic factors like bank failures. draught conditions among others.
This finally paved manner to the epoch of the great depression. an epoch in which America faced the most hard economic state of affairs it has of all time experienced throughout its whole history. The alterations that largely affected people during that peculiar clip were the issues refering employment. Quite a considerable figure of people lost their occupations. History records that by the twelvemonth 1932. unemployment rates rose from five million in the twelvemonth 1930 to thirteen million ( Sutton 1999 Para 3-7 ) . Luke and Agnes were non left out for they used to populate in rural countries where the job was more rampant.
Luke who was employed in an agricultural farm as a director lost his occupation due to the hard economic state of affairss which were confronting the state. He was the exclusive staff of life victor and Agnes used to take attention of their four kids. two male childs and two misss. However. there were many more alterations that were taking topographic point in America that were impacting people leave alone employment. Since all these alterations were impacting work forces and adult females otherwise. this paper shall look at the life of Americans during the great depression in relation to gender functions of work forces and adult females.
Family Life Since Luke was no longer employed. Agnes sought a clerical occupation so as to back up the household for the household had to last. It was really really easy for adult females to happen occupations more than it was for work forces although before that adult females had really been dismissed from their occupations. A batch of industries had collapsed and the occupations that work forces could make were virtually non available as Boehm ( 1996: parity 1 ) puts it. Since they were loath to take the occupations that were antecedently meant for adult females. they had to stay unemployed.
Consequently. during this peculiar clip. a batch of adult females were employed more than work forces contrary to the state of affairs that had existed earlier on in which work forces were the exclusive staff of life victors and adult females the place shapers ( McMahon. 2009: parity 1 ) . Luke’s household exhibited the state of affairs that was prevalent in most of the households. The function of work forces being the sole breadwinner was rapidly being taken by adult females who were largely being assisted by their kids. Luke’s eldest. John. was employed as a sweeper so as to assist her female parent in supplying for the household.
Although it was painful for Luke to see his eldest missing school so that he can be employed in a occupation that paid really small. he really had no pick. Although most adult females of the great depression were really helpful in their households for they had taken functions of a breadwinner. a batch of household jobs emanated from the same. The household of Luke had a batch of peace when he was employed but after he lost the occupation and could non look for any other signifier of employment. Agnes could non stand it for long. They would dispute more frequently and Agnes blamed him for the adversities they were confronting. It was hard and slippery for Luke.
He was afraid that even the kids may non esteem him any more for he was non of much aid in the household. He was supposed to be the caput and the supplier but the current state of affairs had incapacitated him. Though he was non entirely for there were 1000s of other work forces who really were being left at place when their married womans went to work. he was non to take it any longer. He could non conceive of being like other idle work forces who were left at place by their married womans to make the family jobs. In the mid 1930s when the economic system was bettering easy. Luke decided to go forth his household behind and went to Boston metropolis to look for some signifier of employment.
He joined 1000s of work forces who had refused to travel back place after they had lost their occupations. Due to poverty. these work forces used to go forth in Hoovervilles ; shelters which were made of cast-off wood and Sn ( The Library of Congress. 2002: parity 1 ) . Since these work forces were ashamed because they could no longer do it to supply for their households. they decided to remain off from them. After Luke had joined them. his married woman went to remain with her in-laws since she could non pull off to work and back up the kids. Nonetheless. she was non the lone 1 ; a batch of households had broken up during the great depression in America.
Education Agnes. though a hardworking adult female. could non hold afforded to educate her kids without the aid of her hubby. The eldest boy had already dropped out of school to assist the female parent in supplying for the household. The other kids used to be in and out of school most of the times due to miss of school fees. In add-on. the school had besides reduced the length of a school twenty-four hours and the figure of school yearss in a twelvemonth due to miss of fundss. Since Agnes loved instruction. she did non desire her kids to lose school although it was non easy to educate them.
Like other parents who were in her place. she used to travel to the schools to implore the disposal to offer free school repasts to her kids. This wont strained the school budget even further. Agnes kept trusting that her hubby would come back place or even communicate. which he ne’er did until after some clip. The shame kept him far from his household as he could non conceive of coming back place empty handed. Parents like Agnes and Luke who were non collaborating caused a batch of jobs to the whole of the instruction sector.
Since they could non even afford to pay their revenue enhancements. the school board had to fire some instructors in order to get by with minimum financess. Furthermore. the teachers’ wage was reduced to forty US dollars a month for the five month school twelvemonth. Such an sum of money was non worth the occupation of a instructor though ; they had no alternate but to accept it lief. Since the school twenty-four hours and the school twelvemonth had been shortened. some topics were finally dropped like the history. geographics. physical instruction among others. Most schools were merely offering the basic literacy topics which included reading. authorship. and the arithmetic ( Sutton. 1999: parity 13 ) .
Leisure and Entertainment After being off for two old ages. Luke returned place. Her married woman was glad though he did non come with anything expect for a wireless which had become really popular during the decennary. Although the economic state of affairs was non favourable. most of the places of the Americans used to ain wirelesss. Young & A ; Nancy in their book ‘Music of the Great Depression’ records that 46 % of the American places used to ain wirelesss ( 2005: p. 1 ) . The same surveies record that by 1935. 67 % of places in America owned more than twenty one million sets of wirelesss.
Although there were other signifiers of amusement. music from the wireless was the dominant signifier of amusement as 2/3 of the plans from the wireless used to be fundamentally music shows. Luke had become really fond of the same and would sit at place and listen to music when his married woman was off during the twenty-four hours. Luke and other work forces in the society did non really like the state of affairs of holding adult females being the leaders for they had taken their gender functions of supplying for the household. The fright of losing their maleness was so much but they did non hold much of a pick.
The music and the vocals that were being produced so explained their destiny better like ‘Remember My Forgotten Man’ and ‘Ever since the universe began. a woman’s got to hold a adult male. ’ Such vocals were men’s favourite during that peculiar clip for they explained their feelings and their expectancies. Luke and other work forces who were in being during the great depression besides turned to Hollywood in order to mend their complaints of lost maleness. There were films like the ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ which were men’s favourite for they signified the frights and the yearnings of work forces during the period of depression.
In add-on to radio and films. some games like the board games were besides played as a signifier of amusement ( Sutton. 1999: parity 14 & A ; 15 ) . Since affording the rudimentss was a job in the Luke’s household as it was the instance in every other household. manners did non hold much significance by so. Manners from Paris had become really expensive for all people in America expect for the really rich. However. the flappers of the 1920s were replaced by a simple print frock with a waist line and a longer hem for the adult females. Slide fasteners were widely used as closings for they were less expensive than the buttons which were antecedently being used.
There were besides different hems for the different times of the twenty-four hours such that mid calf was for the twenty-four hours wear and the long calf for the eventide wear. For the men’s wear. the vest jumpers had replaced the traditional matching of the three piece suit. All good and decently dressed work forces used to have on chapeaus every bit good as bloomerss which were broad and of high waist. Surprisingly the great depression did non hold much impact on the American’s spiritual patterns as one would hold expected. The church remained a topographic point for the in-between elderly adult females as others did non believe the same had any important impact in their lives.
For the Luke’s household. Agnes was the lone 1 who was a regular church attender. For Luke. Sunday was the twenty-four hours he would fall in other people at the bowl for amusement incase he had money. If non. he used to listen to his wireless the whole twenty-four hours together with his younger kids who did non fall in their female parent in church either. History records that there was merely a 5 % addition of people in church during the clip of the great depression which fell drastically instantly after the great depression. Although the wireless did do some church leaders rather celebrated. that did non hold much impact as one would hold expected.
Politicss Although adult females had acquired the power to vote. bulk still did non see voting for they thought it was men’s concern. During the Election Day. bulk stayed at place and due to this. merely a little figure of adult females were elected. Nevertheless. with the influence of Eleanor Roosevelt. the first lady by so. bulk were appointed to high authorities places. Agnes happened to be among the adult females who were elected in those high places for her household had some political influence and she was learned.
Their life bit by bit changed because they could now afford non merely the rudimentss but besides some amenitiess. Luke started to make concern which was rather good for him for he was assured of being restored back to the original place as the supplier. Their kids could besides go to school because it was non hard to raise school fees any more. Conclusion The great depression in America impacted America. socially politically and economically. The period extended for about ten old ages or more until the oncoming of World War II. Of all the alterations that took topographic point. societal alteration of gender functions was most important.
Womans became the suppliers due to the fact that they could happen occupations easy. Work force were greatly incapacitated by the unfavourable economic state of affairs. Consequently. the rate of matrimony and birth rate dropped greatly. Womans could non see acquiring married to work forces who could hardly supply anything. Furthermore. most immature work forces were busy assisting their female parents in supplying for the household to hold anytime to believe about matrimony. Those who were married like Agnes frequently regretted their determination particularly when state of affairss became excessively difficult to bear.
As it is popularly believed “seasons do non last forever’ . the great depression epoch in which there was much alteration in the gender functions came to an terminal and paved manner for World II epoch ( Filene n. d: para 15-18 ) . Works Cited: Boehm. Lisa. K. . Women. Impact of the Great Depression on. 1996. Web. Retrieved on 29th April from: hypertext transfer protocol: //www. jiffynotes. com/a_study_guides/book_notes/egd_02/egd_02_00550. html Filene. Peter. American Families during the Great Depression. N. d. Web. Retrieved on 29th April from: hypertext transfer protocol: //www. dlt. ncssm. edu/lmtm/docs/families/script. pdf McMahon. Kathy A. . The Invisible Women of the Great Depression.
2009. Web. Retrieved on 28th April 2010. from: hypertext transfer protocol: //ezinearticles. com/ ? The-Invisible-Women-of-the-Great-Depression & A ; id=1888970 Sutton. Bettye. American Cultural History 1930 – 1939. 1999. Web. Retrieved on 29th April 2010 from: hypertext transfer protocol: //kclibrary. lonestar. edu/decade30. html The Library of Congress. Great Depression and World War II. 1929-1945. 2002. Web. Retrieved on 29th April 2010 from: hypertext transfer protocol: //memory. loc. gov/learn//features/timeline/depwwii/depress/depress. hypertext markup language Young. William H. & A ; Young. Nancy. K. . Music of the Great Depression. Santa Barbara. ABC-CLIO. 2005. Print.