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The time of The Diviners

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by

Sheena Strada

on 11 November 2011

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Transcript of The time of The Diviners

Social Context
of The Diviners

What caused the Depression?
Herbert Hoover
So why did people hate him?
In Conclusion
By 1930, agriculture prices were low,
unemployment was high, "Hoovervilles" had sprung up all over, and people were suffering.
The residents of Zion would have lived at a time when government was perceived as a failing entity. Small business owners like Ferris, Norma, and Goldie would have been scraping to get by; farmers such as Basil would have been dealing with low crop prices and lack of rainfall. Most people were in pretty dire straits, which often provides opportunities for neighbors to rely on one another.
Before he became president, Hoover was an
engineer who graduated from Stanford. He worked in China for a time and was caught in Tientsin during the Boxer Rebellion. He risked his life to rescue Chinese children.
He also worked to help Americans return home at the beginning of WWI and was later appointed head of the FDA. He used that power to help feed troops while also avoiding forced rationing at home during the war.
He had the unfortunate timing to be president when the stock market crashed in 1929.
People felt he didn't do enough to support them, an idea Congress did nothing to fight.
While America boomed culturally during the 1920's, the economy did not follow suit. Spending actually decreased, which lead to a decrease in manufacturing. It was simple supply and demand. This is often blamed on the monetary policy of the time. Long story short, the prices of goods did not increase, while stock prices did. This was a major factor in the stock market crash.
Hoovervilles:
Shanty towns built
by homeless Americans.
The name was in reference to Herbert Hoover, whom the angry and destitute inhabitants blamed for their suffering. There was a lot of anger and frustration, which you see in the remarks Ferris makes.
In times of crisis, people have historically found solace in religion.
Full transcript