Literature of the Great Depression
Literature of the Abundant Depression: A Survey The Abundant Depression, alpha in 1929 and continuing throughout the abutting decade, was a time of acute bread-and-butter decline, adverse bodies of about every amusing class, race, age, and geographic region. Millions of unemployed Americans everywhere suffered the burdens of poverty, homelessness, and crime.
While all-inclusive numbers of citizens lined up in connected aliment lines, cat-and-mouse for hours for the babyish bulk of chargeless aliment offered by government abatement agencies; abounding others, affronted by their active conditions, took to the streets to protest, sometimes violently, ambitious that the government booty absolute activity to allay their suffering. It is these images of such boundless trouble, distress, and amusing and political upheaval, that sparked the absorption of arcane writers everywhere. As arcane writers adjourned these new situations brought on by the Abundant Depression, one accumulation in particular, the South, affronted the interests of abounding writers.
Economic as able-bodied as ecology factors, such as aridity and the Dust Bowl, abnormally afflicted the South's bread-and-butter assurance on agriculture; banishment abounding farmers into poverty, and active bags from their homes abroad in chase of bigger opportunities. It is these immense bread-and-butter adversities as able-bodied as all-inclusive animal adversity accomplished by the South that drew absorption from abounding arcane writers, authoritative the South the accountable of abounding acclaimed and important works of literature, and thereby accepting for the Southern regions an important celebrated alcove in the history of the Abundant Depression in America.
By analytical the arcane depictions of Southern activity during the Abundant Depression, of works such as The Grapes of Wrath, Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men, and Tobacco Road, we accretion capital insights into the cultures, lifestyles, and sentiments of those Americans hardest hit by the Abundant Depression; farmers and sharecroppers in the American south. Amid those works of abstract depicting the Abundant Depression is Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men, accounting by James Agee with photography by Walker Evans.
Written at the acme of the Abundant Depression in 1936 as an appointment for Fortune magazine, and afterwards appear in 1941 as a novel, this diffuse four hundred folio argument is a assignment of book that sets out to certificate the generally acrid altitude of white Southern sharecroppers in rural Alabama by spending time with and alike abode with three absolute sharecropping families accepted in the atypical as: the Gudgers, the Ricketts, and the Woods for a aeon of several weeks. In Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men, passages of amazing description and anapestic adorableness alarm the assorted settings in which the atypical takes place.
Agee describes in abundant detail the homes of the farmers, the assignment they do, how the bodies looked, what they ate, how they spoke, their backing and the surrounding acreage in adjustment to acrylic an authentic annual of the active altitude as able-bodied as the plight of the sharecroppers. As Humphries credibility out, although Agee urges his clairvoyant not to appearance the atypical as “high art” Agee's adeptness to aback adorableness alike in those things not about beheld as admirable makes the aesthetic amount of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men absolutely clear.
Equally as able as the busy beheld images Agee so cautiously conjures aural the clairvoyant and the anapestic adorableness of these images, is the address to awareness Agee conveys in his description. Agee in gluttonous to absolutely and accurately aback the adventures of Southern sharecroppers, utilizes awareness to attack to accomplish the clairvoyant feel what it is like to be a sharecropper, the concrete affliction acquired by angle of the back, the sensations of airtight in the hand, and the feel of diaphoresis decrepit bottomward the anatomy all amalgamate to acquiesce the clairvoyant to feel what it is like to be a agriculturalist (Quinn).
It is through these depictions of sensations that Agee hoped to accomplish the sharecroppers "so absolute to you who apprehend of it, that it will angle and break in you as the centermost and best adamant affliction and answerability of your actuality that you are what you are, and that she is what she is, and that you cannot for one moment barter places with her" (Praise 321).
In accession to the adept accomplishment with which Agee so vividly depicts his novel, addition notable aspect of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men is the aberration and analysis through which Agee, with the advice of his accomplice Evans, crafts the novel. The clairvoyant is confronted with this aberration aloft aperture the book, in which the presentation of the array of photographs taken by Evans appear afore any alternative words in the text, alike afore the table of capacity and absorb information.
Additionally, none of the pictures accommodate any array of captions, a actuality that could be best attributed to Evans' alternative for presenting his images afterwards the accessory of words (Jackson). In befitting with the abridgement of accuracy of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men, Agee casts himself as a appearance in the atypical in which, at parts, he interacts with and reacts to the alternative characters in the novel. The acceptation of this is that it provides the clairvoyant with acumen into the author's thoughts and animosity about the contest in the novel.
However, this actuality forth with Agee's Southern ancestor has acquired Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men to be criticized as actuality too absent with Agee's claimed brooding than with creating a added allusive delineation of the lives of his capacity (Humphries). Furthermore, in his arcane criticism of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men, Coogle contrasts Agee's and Evans' assignment with that of Jacob Riis' work, How the Alternative Half Lives in adjustment to authenticate both Agee's and Evans' advised canning of animal address as able-bodied as the bounce of added acceptable worldviews, namely Victorianism (Coogle).
Coogle's accretion of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men is that, “with its affair for apropos animal address and its appearance of the apple as circuitous and confusing, serves as a arresting adverse to beforehand notions. Agee and Evans adios any eyes of the apple as acutely barefaced and ordered,” While Riis' Victorian sentiments abridge the animal acquaintance and presents his bankrupt capacity as inferior, Agee and Evans actively abstain such abasement of their capacity and accede the complication of life.
This new access to journalism and depicting of amusing issues accompanying with the advised canning of animal address added demonstrates the aberration of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men and reflects the billow of new and avant-garde annual that the Abundant Depression spurred. No bigger archetype of the Abundant Depression's alarm for avant-garde and beginning annual is one that has been frequently cited by scholars, and that is the alongside amid the avant-garde bread-and-butter behavior of Roosevelt's New Deal with that of the anarchistic access to the authoritative of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men.
Austgen makes the affirmation that, “As Roosevelt accustomed that acceptable affairs for bread-and-butter accretion could not end the Depression, so Agee and Evans knew that acceptable methods of photography and journalism would not assignment to aback accurately the adamantine and simple lives of the addressee farmers. ” Furthermore, as Evans and Agee seek to bottle the address of its subject, so too does Roosevelt's economics (Austgen).
In conclusion, while Agee's poetic, and generally excruciatingly anecdotic journalistic reportage accompanying with Evans' addition of a bulk of aboveboard photographs assignment calm to actualize an authentic delineation of the bankrupt Southern farmer's acquaintance during the Abundant Depression on the surface, it is the the abolitionist analysis of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men, as able-bodied as Agee's and Evans' absorption to animal dignity, that illuminates the new and avant-garde annual that times of amusing about-face and bread-and-butter accident such as the Abundant Depression alarm for.
Like Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men, addition assignment of abstract depicting acreage activity during the Abundant Depression is John Steinbeck's American archetypal The Grapes of Wrath. Appear in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath tells the adventure of the fabulous Joad family, who afterwards accident their Oklahoma acreage due to bread-and-butter accident and the Dust Bowl, commence on a expedition westward to California, acquisitive to acquisition assignment and bread-and-butter stability, but alone acquisition connected accident and despair.
After accident two ancestors associates to death, characters Granma and Granpa Joad, and two added ancestors members, Noah the oldest Joad son and Connie the abundant Rose of Sharon's husband, adjudge to leave the family; the blow of the family, about discouraged, abide on their adventure to California. Afterwards their accession in California, the Joads abide corruption by the able aloof employers, abhorrent active conditions, as able-bodied as badge brutality.
In acknowledgment to the casual laborers abridgement of ability and rights, as able-bodied as their absurdly low wages, the laborers, including the preacher Jim Casey, unionize in adjustment to activity aback adjoin the corruption of their abject employers. Through his delineation of the unionization of exploited workers, Steinbeck advocates for worker's unions and the charge for aggregate activity amid the masses. Furthermore, by emphasizing the corruption of the lower classes, as able-bodied as the animal adversity acquired by the able and abject aloof employers, Steinbeck's close attitude adjoin the ability of big-business is apprehensible (Hendrick).
Steinbeck's added asserts his political annual by depicting the Joads as accepting an continued abstraction of family. Throughout the novel, assorted instances appear in which the abstraction of ancestors extends above the acceptable bridal unit, “to accommodate associates accompanying by plight as able-bodied as by blood” (Hinton). This is aboriginal apparent in the aperture capacity of the novel, as the Joads adapt to commence on their adventure westward, they acquiesce the preacher Jim Casey to accompany them on their adventure to California, accepting them as one of their own.
Ma Joad's attack to advice craving accouchement in the casual camp, alike as her own accouchement do not accept abundant to eat added depicts the Joads continued abstraction of ancestors as able-bodied as the altruism displayed by the Joad family. It is this addendum of the acceptable familial anatomy that conveys Steinbeck's Socialist viewpoints and his accent on the altruism and advantage of the Joads that assume to aback the bulletin that during times of immense adversity and amusing about-face bodies charge appear calm to advice one another.
Perhaps however, the best notable delineation of the altruism and amicableness of the Joad ancestors occurs at the end of the atypical by none alternative than Rose of Sharon, the Joad family's earlier daughter, a appearance up until this point plays a almost accessory role in the novel. Afterwards the Joad ancestors suffers yet addition tragedy, back Rose of Sharon gives bearing to a stillborn baby, the family, devastated by their accident appear beyond a dying aged stranger.
In an act of acute kindness, Rose of Sharon offers her breast milk to the man in adjustment to save his life. Moreover, Steinbeck accent the altruism and benevolence of the Joads in adjustment to accommodate a abrupt adverse to the algid and anesthetized aloof administration that accomplishment the casual workers in adjustment to both adjure accord in the clairvoyant for the plight of the workers as able-bodied as to added altercate adjoin big-business (Hinton). Finally, The Grapes of Wrath, as a acclaimed assignment of literature, fosters a accustomed angel of the Southern farmer.
For those with alike the vaguest ability of this important actual era, the Abundant Depression conjures up images of bankrupt farmers, apprenticed from their homes, stoic-faced and desperate, in chase of bigger opportunities and a approaching for themselves and their families. Although The Grapes of Wrath provides a fabulous annual of one sharecropping family, and while it can be argued that Steinbeck creates a rather dramatized delineation of the sharecroppers, the adventure Steinbeck tells was one that was accurate for many.
The Abundant Depression did absolutely drive bags of sharecroppers from their lands, abounding of which may accept been subjected to some of the aforementioned horrors the Joads endured. In conclusion, The Grapes of Wrath is admired for its angel of Southern farmers that has become the affiche angel for the Abundant Depression, and still charcoal as such alike today. In abrupt adverse to both Agee's Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men and Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, is Elskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road.
While both Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men and The Grapes of Wrath assignment actively to advance the address of its subjects, Tobacco Road instead provides a abundant added abrogating angel of the novel's characters. Caldwell's fabulous Lester ancestors like the focus of both Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men and The Grapes of Wrath are a ancestors of Southern farmers constant the acute adversity wrought by ache and acute abjection in the bosom of the Abundant Depression.
Whereas Agee presents a aristocratic angel of his subjects, and Steinbeck accent the altruism and advantage of the Joad ancestors admitting their conditions, Caldwell seems to abate his characters to beneath than human. Apprenticed by abject instincts the Lester ancestors assume to abridge vulgarity, violence, abomination and accepted indecency. It is in this way that Caldwell depicts the darker ancillary of poverty. In conclusion, by analytical the authors absorbed of acclaimed works of abstract depicting activity during the Abundant Depression we accretion capital insights into the amusing realities of Southern sharecroppers during the Abundant Depression.
Works Cited Agee, James, and Walker Evans. Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men. 1941. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1988. Austgen, Susan A. "Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men: Agee and Evans' Abundant Experiment. " Agee and Evans' Abundant Experiment. Web. 04 May 2012. . Coogle, Matt. "The Actual Acceptation of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men. " The Actual Acceptation of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men. Web. 05 May 2012. . Hendrick, Veronica C. "John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath (1939). " Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas. ABC-CLIO, 2012.
Web. 8 May 2012. Hinton, Rebecca. "Steinbeck's 'The Grapes of Wrath. ' (John Steinbeck's book). " The Explicator 56. 2 (1998): 101+. Abstract Resource Center. Web. 8 May 2012. Humphries, David T. “Returning South: Reading Culture in James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men and Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men. ” The Southern Arcane Journal 41. 2 (2009): 69+. Abstract Resource Center. Web. 10 April 2012. Jackson, Bruce. "The Deceptive Anarchy of Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men. " The Antioch Review 1999: 38-49.
ProQuest Research Library. Web. 5 May 2012 . Quinn, Jeanne Follansbee. "The Assignment Of Art: Irony And Identification In Let Us Now Praise Acclaimed Men. " Novel: A Forum On Fiction 34. 3 (2001): 338. Academic Chase Premier. Web. 8 May 2012. Rothstein Arthur. Fleeing A Dust Storm. Cimarron City, Oklahoma. 1936. Web. 10 May 2012. Silver, Andrew. "Laughing over absent causes: Erskine Caldwell's affray with Southern humor. " The Mississippi Quarterly 50. 1 (1996): 51+. Abstract Resource Center. Web. 5 May 2012.
Order a unique copy of this paper