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The Work Ethic Of The Greatest Generation And Modern Generation

975 words - 4 pages

In the article, “The Way We Worked”, Tom Brokaw describes his fathers and other individuals’ work ethic during the Greatest Generation. The Greatest Generation took place during World War II and the Great Depression. Brokaw points out that the Greatest Generation was a generation known for their capacity of work, “As I researched the lives of the men and woman who came of age in the Great Depression, went through World War II, and built the country we know today, I was struck by how many of them went to work in their early teenage years. They had to work because their families needed the extra income for food, for clothing, to meet that month's rent” (Brokaw 274). In “The Way We Worked”, Brokaw's theme demonstrates examples of the different work ethic of the Greatest Generation and modern generation.
Brokaw introduces the article by describing his father, Anthony Brokaw, work ethic during the Greatest Generation. He refers to how Anthony has been working for a long time, “He had been working for almost 50 years” (Brokaw 273). His father has been working since he was 10 years old driving a team of horses. Brokaw’s father was preparing to retire and all of his family was relieved because he has always been working and they knew that it was time for him to relax. However, he postponed his retirement because he became too emotional at the thought of not having a job to go to everyday. He loved to work and it was his passion so when his father postponed his retirement for another year, his family was not surprise. Anthony was always working even if he was not at work, “It was how he made his living and it was his favorite leisure-time activity” (Brokaw 274). This quote states that Brokaw's father is a hard worker because on page 274, it also explains that when he was not working, he was doing work at his house, “One Father's Day when I came home from college, he spent that Sunday changing the brake pads on my car.” Work was not a normal routine for Brokaw’s father, but it was word that defined him, his qualities and his strong work ethic during the Greatest Generation.
There were many people who worked hard like Brokaw's father during the Greatest Generation. Charles Briscoe, who helped built the first long-range B-29 bombers during World War II, was one of those people who had to work hard in order to help his mother. He made a deal with a dentist that he would clean his offices in exchange for his mother to get dental work. Bob Bush was a returned soldier with a Congressional Medal of Honor. He started a building supply business with one of his partners. He and his partner worked seven days a week and they would trade every other week to work the full 24-hours. Brokaw showed how not only did the lower class have to work, but the middle class had some chores as well, “The daily...

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