If you were to write a letter to a family member about the great depression what would you say?

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would spend a good deal of the letter discussing how my own life has been transformed by the lack of wealth that is impacting both my own life and the world around me.  I might discuss how selling family possessions became a reality, and I would also discuss how there was little in way of opportunity for me and my family.  At the same time, I think I would talk about how so many others coped with crippling poverty.  The need to take handouts from a variety of sources, the shame of men who could not take care of their families, the lack of health care for children, and the general decrepit condition of the social and economic order of the time period would be details that I would emphasize in my letter.

ako6777's profile pic

ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

The letter would depend on several factors. Like the previous writer stated, your age would be an important factor. How old you were would impact you recollections of the event. Young children would most likely not remember much of the Great Depression.

If you were of working age, your profession would impact your letter as well. Farmers were impacted as prices fell. This would impact their earnings and the amount of work they needed to do in order to make a profit. The need for government handouts and charity was large.

Families had to learn to make good with what they had. That is how depression style cooking came into being. Many recipes from that time do not utilize flour or sugar.

Many people lost their homes because they couldn't pay their mortgages.

"Shanty towns constructed of packing crates, abandoned cars and other cast off scraps sprung up across the Nation. Gangs of youths, whose families could no longer support them, rode the rails in box cars like so many hoboes, hoping to find a job."

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You would need to decide first of all what your status in life is.  Are you a kid?  Are you an adult?  Then when you have decided that, you need to decide if your family is doing okay or not.

Remember, there were plenty of people who did okay during the Depression.  Around 66% of the people who wanted jobs had them.

So if you are out of work, talk about how that has affected your life.  If you are not, you should probably talk about those who are out of work and your attitude toward them.

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