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The Experiences of Men and Women of During the Great Depression

Essay by   •  March 18, 2012  •  Essay  •  558 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,555 Views

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In the historical account "Hard Times" by Studs Terkel, various perspectives are given from of men and women during the Great Depression. These perspectives can be broken down to compare what each side felt and what side felt the Depression even harder. These men and women belonged to many social classes which included the upper class, middle class, and lower class where they both struggled with their conservation of money and finding new job opportunities.

In the Great Depression, men of varying social status suffered from job loss and had difficulty looking for jobs in cities such as Los Angeles. These men had to leave their families to look for job opportunities such as a lower class white man who could not get a job because he had a ragged and dirty look. "I wouldn't let them see me dirty and ragged and I hadn't shaved. I wouldn't send them no picture..." the man quoted in his experience as he had to leave his mother for job opportunities in Los Angeles but could not get one and ended up sleeping in the slum part of the city along with the African Americans due to his ragged look. However, as men of the lower and middle class struggled for survival, men of the upper social class felt a small impact from Great Depression, and some had a few setbacks while others had a few of their luxuries and benefits taken away. One such example is an account of an upper class man when he recalls about the Great Depression. "We did more for ourselves...I drove my own car, my wife did and all that sort of thing..." the man recalled which shows that some of the upper classes required to work for themselves to make up for the effects of the Depression.

Although men of various social classes shared many hardships, women also shared equally troubling hardships as well during the Great Depression. Women had the same if not more difficulty during the Depression due to their role as caretakers for children. One such occasion was when a woman was given less supplies to feed her children. "She raised hell at the relief station. She became vituperative. The case worker wrote her up as a psychotic." This illustrates that when women were given less food and supplies, it often led to violence and misunderstandings at relief stations and similar places during the Great Depression. Although for many upper class women, like the upper class men, the Depression did not severely impact them as much as the lower and middle class woman. Women of the upper class had some of their luxuries taken away, such as relieving their chauffer of work and some of these women had to find work for themselves to even out the effects of the Great Depression; however they still retained their cars and property.

In conclusion, men and women of different social classes regardless of whether they are of the upper, middle, or lower class experienced the Depression to some degree. Although the upper class

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