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The Great Depression and To Kill a Mockingbird

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by

Jill Sutton

on 29 September 2011

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Transcript of The Great Depression and To Kill a Mockingbird

What is the importance of this video? I. FACTS ABOUT THE GREAT DEPRESSION 1. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is set during the Great Depression.
2. The Great Depression was the outcome of the stock-market crash of 1929, which paralyzed the nation's economy.
3. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, factories and stores closed, and consumption of farm products declined dramatically. This picture is one of the most famous from The Great Depression
What does the woman's face say about her current situation?
4. How does she represent other Americans going through the same crisis? 5. Thousands of investors lost large sums of money and many were wiped out, meaning they lost all of their life savings. 7. Banks were forced to close when the stock market crashed. II. THE DUST BOWL 6. The "crash" of the stockmarket led us into the Great Depression. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the "crash" is brought up, so it is important to be able to make the connection. 8. People rushed to banks that were still open
to withdraw their money, if there was any left. This massive withdrawal of cash caused additional banks to close. Those who didn't reach the bank in time became bankrupt. 9. In previous depressions, farmers were usually safe from the severe effects of a depression because they could at least feed themselves.
10. Unfortunately, during the Great Depression, the Great Plains were hit hard with both a drought and horrendous dust storms. Years and years of overgrazing combined
with the effects of a drought caused the grass
to disappear. With just topsoil exposed, high winds picked up the loose dirt and whirled it for miles. The dust storms
destroyed everything in their paths, leaving farmers without
their crops. 11. Small farmers were hit especially hard. 12. When the dust storms damaged the crops,
not only could the small farmer not feed
himself and his family, he could not pay back his debt.
Banks would then foreclose on the small farms and the farmer's family would be both homeless and unemployed. INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE GREAT DEPRESSION The board game Monopoly, which first became available in 1935, became immensely popular, perhaps because players could become rich--at least in their imagination. The "Three Little Pigs" released May 27, 1933, and produced by Walt Disney--was seen as a symbol of the Great Depression. A number of great structures, including the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge were completed during the Depression, providing many jobs to the unemployed. III. THE END OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION 13. It was the entrance of the U.S. into WWII that ended the Great Depression in the United States. Men and women both joined the war effort because it provided jobs for them. Food had to be grown to send overseas and to be used on the home front. IV. What does any of this have to do with To Kill a Mockingbird? Well, the setting of the book, is set during the 1930's. 14. The characters in the book are affected by the crash and it shows how the farmers were hit the hardest. 15. There is a solid balance of those who were slightly affected by the crash and those who were greatly affected. It is very important to understand what the nation was going through during this difficult time to understand what was going on in the small town written about in To Kill a Mockingbird.
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