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Essay Sample: Eleanor Roosevelt Letter Analysis

2021-07-09 18:13:46
4 pages
939 words
University/College: 
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Essay
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Analyze the letter for its relationship to the economic crisis that was going on in the United States at that time. In other words, how does a letter and request such as this fit within the historical period being studied?

A letter by D.B to Mrs. Roosevelt gives a clear picture of the United States economic condition at the time of the letter dated February 12, 1938. The letter is a request by a girl named D.B addressed to the first lady at the time Mrs. Roosevelt to help the girl financially. The letter starts with a narrative of how D.B lost her job leaving her father to support the whole family. The letter continue to explain the families demise of how despite her father being the sole breadwinner and having kidney ailment, his working days had been reduced to 3working days a week in addition to a pay cut, a sick mother in addition to their bills piling despite her efforts to secure another job with her excellent job references. The letter gives an insight of harsh economic conditions at the time, which can be traced in October 1929 that accumulated until the years of the 1940s, which were seen as the causes of political instability that resulted to the Second World War. The letters request is a good indicator of how the great depression threatened peoples jobs, savings, farms and homes as insinuated by D.B in her letter when she laments on how the family is behind the furniture bills and rent arrears. Also, the author describes how she has registered for the unemployment compensation scheme and has not received any of the promised compensation. The letters request fits the economic crisis of the great depression experience of the 1930s.

What might you be able to infer about the woman just from reading her letter? Economic status? Educational status? Pride? Provide examples from the letter to validate your answer. Also, in your response, tell me what infer means and why your response is an inference.

To infer is to derive reasoning based on statements or facts to conclude, hint or imply on the given topic. Therefore, this letter is an inference because it provides facts, feelings, and opinions on specific issues Mrs. Roosevelt had at the time. Having been in a position close to power and her ability to influence decisions in her husband administration, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt received hundreds of letters full of request for basic things people were unable to buy. Therefore, from such request, it is correct to infer that the woman was affluent and rich. Such conclusion can be based on the letter's request by Mrs. H.E.C's request for her Childs clothes despite the great depression at the time people always looked up to her for financial support. Although the letter cannot correctly infer about her education status, the letter gives a face of a woman's education that is above average due to her affluent nature to influence the decision and work with other government agencies, for example, the referral of Mrs. H.E.C to a social charity organization. Mrs. Roosevelt can also be said to be kind and humble seen from the insinuation of the letter that the author had received feedback from her and her general approachable character as seen from the tone of the letter which is more casual.

Evaluate the impact that this letter has obviously had on historians trying to relay the hardships families faced in the Great Depression? What strike as the most compelling point in the letter that would illustrate that?

The letter can gain insights on how families struggled to make ends meet with massive job losses during the great depression. The most striking point of the letter is when the author infers about her condition as an expectant mother unable to buy clothes for her coming baby and that she is willing to keep her seven-year-old daughter away from school to help her siblings

Why this is considered a primary source? To answer this, define and explain what a primary source is and then relate this source as an example of it.

A primary source of evidence to historians provides first-hand evidence of an event or a person. They include pieces of creative writing, audio, and video recordings, legal documents or eyewitness accounts. Ms. Roosevelt letter is considered a primary source first due to her position of authority as a first lady. In this respect, she had an understanding of how the government worked and was well connected to be well informed on decisions and strategies her husband's administration was undertaking or was going through. Therefore, her response can be conclusively be termed as a primary source since her daily encounters had an influence on her ideas that have been documented.

 

References

"Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt Asking for Baby Clothes." Women in America, PrimarySource Media, 1999. American Journey. U.S. History in Context,

Https/apps/doc/EJ2161000281/UHIC? u=mill30389&xid=03bbdbee. Accessed 10 Nov.2017.

"The Great Depression and WWII Teacher Resources - American Memory Timeline - Library of Congress." National Congress documents. N.p., 2017. Web. 11 Nov. 2017. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjP45S1_LTXAhWGMBoKHSp5Dx0QFggmMAA&url=http:%2F%2Fwww.loc.gov%2Fteachers%2Fclassroommaterials%2Fpresentationsandactivities%2Fpresentations%2Ftimeline%2Fdepwwii%2Frace%2Fletter.html&usg=AOvVaw2rGMIBOR8oCKEoVzKzcr_-"Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt Asking for Baby Clothes." Women in America, PrimarySource Media, 1999. American Journey. U.S. History in Context, http://www.radfordhs.org/ourpages/auto/2014/6/13/41139002/Roosevelt%20Letters%20PSA.pdf

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