How do you think life was like living during the great depression?

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besure77 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I have listed a web site below that contains some accounts of people who actually lived during this time. This article describes the Great Depression as being a time when the gap was widening between the "haves" and "have nots." Unemployment rose dramatically and rural areas were hit the hardest. Boys and girls as young as ten years old had to go to work in factories to help support their families. By doing so they had to leave school. Many families even found themselves homeless. There were shacks that were built, called Hoovervilles, that offered shelter to families who had no place to live. If families were lucky enough to keep their homes they often had to take in borders in order to help pay the bills.


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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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All of my relatives that lived through that time period had hard times.  They were farmers, and some of them lost the farm to foreclosure and had to move.  I think about the fact that in my entire life, I've never been hungry.  I mean, hungry for dinner, yes, but really hungry, not so much.  It was a humbling time.  It had to be.

I think a lot of people lost their dignity, their ability to think about the future in terms of more than a week or two.  To deal with that kind of instability for so long, a decade long Depression, scarred that generation in ways that are still visible.  My grandfather hated when any of us threw food away.  I'd be tossing a third of a sandwich and he'd read me the riot act, then eat the sandwich himself.

I do think people were closer to their families, and spent more time with them.  They were more creative and didn't need to be entertained all the time like my generation.  There was a beauty in the simplicity of the lives they lived, and had to live.  They grew more of their own food.  Movies or dinner out were a big deal.  They appreciated life more.

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The fact that the people who lived through the Great Depression never forgot it tells much of the desperation of the times.  They remained frugal until their last moments, saving such small items as sacks or anything that could be reused.  Always they talked of how certain foods were unavailable, and if they did have something, they made it last for days.  Of course, there were the long lines that people so patiently waited in to get bread or soup. And, worse, there were people who jumped from windows in their despair over fortunes lost. 

One needs only read Steinbeck's

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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krishna-agrawala | Student

Great Depression was a worldwide slump in business in the 1930's.  It began in October 1929, in the US with values of stocks and shares crashing.  Thousands of people who had invested money in shares lost large sums of money.  Banks, factories, and shops closed.rendering millions of people jobless. Failure of bank caused savings of millions of people being wiped out overnight. Many people had no money even for food to feed themselves.

The Great Depression affected almost every country causing a sharp reduction in. The problems of depression caused change of leadership and type of government in many countries. Some experts believe that the great depression also contributed to rise Adolf Hitler and to the Japanese invasion of China.

Human suffering for millions increased as the depression continued.  Many people died of malnutrition and diseases caused by it.  Thousands of people, unable to pay for the mortgages lost their home. The homeless, jobless people travelled in freight trains and lived in pitiable condition near railway yard searching for food. They obtained food from welfare agencies or religious missions in towns along the way.  They begged for food, ate scrapes of food from dustbins, or stole it if it any other way.

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