Depression, Dream & Steinbeck

By: Katherine Estep & Aarathi Kalor

The Great Depression

The great depression was the longest economic fall in the industrial western world. It lasted from 1929 to 1939. It caused huge drops in industrial output and unemployment rocketed as workers being laid off by failing companies. By 1933 half of the banks in the country had failed and 13-15 million Americans were unemployed. The Great Depression began because as unsold goods were piling up and consumer spendings dropped, production started to slow down while stock prices rose and finally the sock market burst. Even though President Herbert Hoover and other leaders said that the depression would soon end, it kept getting worse over the next three years. Bread lines, homeless people, and soup kitchens became more common in cities while farmers were forced to let crops rot because they couldn't pay for equipment. The first four waves of banking panic started in 1930 and by the early 1933 thousands of banks closed. To add on to Americas misery the Dust Bowl had begun in the 1930s and lasted nearly a decade.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped soften the worst blows of the Great Depression in the 1930s by taking immediate action to stop the depression. First he announced and four day “Bank holiday. Then he talked to the public over the radio to strengthen their patriotism. In his first 100 days in office he helped the industries and agricultural production, created jobs and started recovery. After we joined World War II, the factories started producing more and many jobs were given to the unemployed. American industries were back in full gear. After all of this Congress passed the Social Security Act to provide for Americans with disabilities, old age and unemployment.

John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was an american author born in 1902 in California. He was a successful author who has written 27 books. He was an incredibly talented author who won the Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize for literature. His first book was The Grapes of Wrath. He won the National Book Award for this book. Some of Steinbeck’s major works include: In Dubious Battle, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath. East of Eden, Travels with Charley.

John Steinbeck had a pattern he liked to write about. He liked to write about the struggles of humans and how they can work hard and achieve their goals. He really believed in humans bettering themselves. He took situations like the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression and had his victims struggle a lot, but in the end they seem to always make themselves better. Steinbeck’s major themes in his stories involve hardships and struggles but he also made sure that someone’s struggles and hardships work out in the end.

The American Dream

The American Dream is was first used in “ The Epic of America” written by James Truslow Adams. He used the term during the Great Depression to describe the complex beliefs, religious promises, and political and social expectations. Many people have different opinions about what the American Dream means to them. To some the American Dream means to be rich, to others the American Dream means to be happy. Whatever the American Dream means to different people there is one thing you can be sure of: the American Dream is why many immigrants came to this country.

The American Dream is based on opportunity. People come to America to have an opportunity to make themselves have a better life. People come from all over the world to work hard and get what they want from life. The thing that many people use to define America is that if you work hard and you what you are supposed to do, you will succeed. That is what many believed when they came to America for opportunity. The American Dream has helped many people achieve their goals. It is what made many people who they are today.

Video on the American Dream: