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The Great Depression in relation to Water for Elephants

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on 8 December 2014

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Transcript of The Great Depression in relation to Water for Elephants

Left Stranded with no funds
Passage/Clip
"But...I don't understand. Even if he took payment in, uh, whatever how does that make everything belong to the bank?" pg.20
Death of Jacob's Parents
Media Coverage
Depression at the Circus
$1.25
Tuesday November 25, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Stock Market Crash
History of Great Depression
The reality behind the circus
"To Talent and Illusion"
The Depression Hits the Benzini Brothers' Circus!
Jacob experiences the full front of the Depression when he goes to the reading of his parent's estate and finds there is nothing left for him. His parent had given away all of their savings to put him through college and when the depression hit there was nothing to replace this money. So Jacob, left with no idea of the future he would after college, ran away and ended up on the train of the Benzini Brother's Circus
"I stare at Edmund Hyde, in his expensive suit, behind his expensive desk, in front of his leather bound books. Behind him, the sun streaks through lead-paned windows. I am filled with sudden loathing- I'll bet he's never taken payment in the form of beans and eggs in his life.
'What am I supposed to do?' I ask slowly.
'I don't know, son I wish I did. The country's fallen on hard times and that's a fact.'"
pg. 20
This quotation shows the magnitude of the great depression, as Jacob represents the american society as a whole in this situation. One day a college student on his way to graduating the next a homeless young man searching for work, with nothing to his name.
In late October of 1929 the Stock Market Crashed, leaving the majority of American citizens with empty bank accounts and no safety nets. Businesses failed, families took to the streets and unemployment hit an all time high at 25% in 1933. "The Great Depression was of an order of magnitude larger than any others." (Foner, Eric, and John A. Garraty.) This shock to the American economy left many suffering, and desperate for work.
Article By: Katie Nash and Brakeley Bryant


Foner, Eric, and John A. Garraty. "Depressions." The Reader's Companion to American History. Dec. 1 1991: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

"The Great Depression." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Water for Elephants Setting." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

"Water for Elephants #7 Movie CLIP - Jacob Meets August (2011) HD." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

"Water For Elephants Movie Clip "United States of Suckers" Official (HD)." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.



Many believe that the Great Depression was intensified due to the current society in the late 1920's and the 1930's were unaware and uneducated on basic economic issues that can arise. The newly introduced form of payment through credit was a main factor that caused the great depression to become so drastic. This quotation supports this theory, that most of society during this time period weren't aware of the consequences of their actions. Jacob was left with nothing after his parents passed, due to his fathers poor financial decisions and the fall of the economy.
With dwindling bank accounts, people sought distraction from their fiscal problems. However with little entertainment and increased prohibition laws, American citizens had few options to divert from the depression. So many turned to the circus as an escape from their money troubles. The illusion of the show was a much needed getaway from the harsh reality of the deflated market.
Work Cited
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