Historical Context

The Great Depression
When cummings wrote his poem in the early 1930s, America was in the grips of the Great Depression, a massive economic disaster that affected the entire country. As a result, many people did not have the luxury of being in awe over love, as cummings is in the poem. Most were focused on basic survival. Although the exact causes of the Great Depression are still debated, most historians agree that the Stock Market Crash of 1929 helped to usher in this huge economic downturn. As the country began to have increasing financial troubles, however, President Herbert Hoover, along with many others, refused to provide federal aid to struggling individuals. The Hoover administration felt that the crisis was only temporary, and that in any case, it would not help Americans to give them handouts. Unfortunately, the situation only got worse. As the jobless rate rose, starvation and suicide became an issue for many families. Millions of families migrated to try to find a better life and available work in other regions of the country, but in many cases, they found neither, and instead set up shelters on vacant lots in other cities and towns, which came to be known as Hoovervilles—after President Hoover, who many blamed for the depression.

The Rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party
At the same time, the world was recovering from the financial and emotional impact of World War I, while trying to prevent another world war. Although...

(The entire section is 449 words.)