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Studs Terkel Hard Times Essay

  • Submitted by: rmiller3149
  • on November 19, 2010
  • Category: History
  • Length: 2,190 words

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Below is an essay on "Studs Terkel Hard Times" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Studs Terkel's "Hard Times"

      While it is easy to say that the Great Depression was a time of immense poverty, one is unable to truly grasp its significance without hearing an account of it from someone who experienced it firsthand. Oftentimes, when something is told to us, from textbooks or from professors, who themselves have only some ideas of the actual mentality during a period and therefore can only speculate, we do not give true consideration to the topic at hand. Instead, we are interested only insomuch as it will benefit us on exams, papers and a better grade. However, through firsthand accounts, just as when one reads a fascinating narrative, we are able to get caught up in an individual’s experiences when we put ourselves in their shoes; we increase our knowledge and expand our desire to learn of a period that has long passed. The firsthand accounts being used in this paper are selections taken from the book Hard Times, written by Louis ‘Studs’ Terkel. I will focus on his interview of Emma Tiller, Cesar Chavez, and Blackie Gold, three very different individuals with three very different experiences and social statuses during the time of the Great Depression. Their experiences will, hopefully, provide an illuminating perspective to a history that has so often been cut and dried, referring to its people, often only as a whole or groups. Rarely is the focus on certain individuals and how their relations connect to their nation as a whole.
              Looking at Emma Tiller’s experience, we see how she dealt with the market collapse of 1929, where individuals were fearfully seeking justification for why things are in shambles. However, she is on the outside looking in and is separate from those that are unable to do anything about it, except what little she can. Her astute perception and passive rebellion also comes across clearly. For instance she tells of how whenever she saw tramps on railroad tracks scavenging she would take them home, give...

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"Studs Terkel Hard Times". Anti Essays. 11 Dec. 2018


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Studs Terkel Hard Times. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/Studs-Terkel-Hard-Times-63959.html