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Russell Baker And The Great Depression

853 words - 3 pages

One of the most critical economic periods in the United States history was the Great Depression, which occurred in between the two world wars. A majority of the U.S. citizens did not know much about the Depression. The only information that they knew was what they read from textbooks. For instance, some of the material they read described the causes of the depression and how the whole country would be affected. Many citizens never really had to face the hardship like others were forced to face. People such as Russell Baker had to overcome many obstacles during this time. "Growing Up" by Russell Baker is an autobiography on the problems he and his family endured during this era. The novel deals with a time that was unfamiliar and confusing to many young adults. While the United States is vastly changing from war to war, Russell tells his story of growing up in an extremely devastating environment. During the Depression, the major issues that Baker stressed mostly throughout the novel were about the financial difficulties that his family endured as a result of the death of his father, difficulties moving from rural life to urban, and lack of medical attention people received. The financial burdens of the depression began to happen when Russell was just five years old and his father died. Elizabeth, Russell's mother, then decided to leave the past behind and move to live with her brother, Allen. Elizabeth was quoted in the book as saying, "For the first time in her life she needed charity. This shows that upon the death of her husband, the whole family no longer has the money to live the lifestyle they had been previously living and they needed a little help to get started with creating a new life. During the Depression, it was not uncommon for family member to flock towards each other for support in their time of need. The more people living in one house, the more they could conserve financially."The decision to give up Audrey took a little longer" Baker said regarding their decision to move in his book. Uncle Tom and Aunt Goldie wanted to take her in because of their impossibility to bare children. Mother didn't want to give Audrey away and "break up her family. Elizabeth also said "three can starve as cheap as two," meaning that the three of her...

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