Great Depression Era Gave Birth To Some Great Creative Periods

by VR Sreeraman on Dec 8 2008 12:28 PM

 Great Depression Era Gave Birth To Some Great Creative Periods
The Great Depression era from 1930s or early 1940s has been a critical period in history, which gave birth to some of the great creative works, according to a professor of English and American studies at Temple University,
One of the greatest works was the 1939 novel 'The Grapes of Wrath', which was set during the Great Depression, which focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry.

In a nearly hopeless situation, they set out for California's Central Valley along with thousands of other "Okies" in search of land, jobs, and dignity.

"If it's true that adversity and hardship can bring out creativity then the Great Depression was one of the great creative periods of our time," said Orvell.

"The period also birthed several new genres, such as the melodrama, which laid the foundation for today's soap opera, and it brought the detective novel to fulfilment, with the heroic detective stoically dealing with corruption and the underside of life in cities like New York, Los Angles and San Francisco.

"The literature of the Depression has been largely dismissed from the cultural record.

"By the post WWII era, the anti-communist and neo-conservative movements looked back at the depression and anything from the left as the work of the 'communist devil.' And that has carried over into our own day" he added.

The era of Great Depression seems to have returned, with New Yorkers hosting Depression parties, while peasant skirts and newsboy caps are making a return on the runways.

Moreover, the Netflix rentals of The Grapes of Wrath on the rise.

According to Orvell, a current standard survey textbook of American literature devotes just three pages out of 1500 to Depression Era literature.

"Yet, the literature of the Depression reflects a critical period in our history and one that had a lasting impact by bringing us social security, roads, post-offices, and banking regulations," he noted.


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