Summary Of The Worst Hard Time By Timothy Egan

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The Worst Hard Time is a chronological book that follows the history of the homesteaders particularly in the dust bowl region of the United States. Centered mainly in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Timothy Egan shares various accounts of people who lived in the area during theses times. He shares with us their stories of hardship in dust storms, crop failures, deaths and political strife. Egan begins by giving historical information which lead up to this period such as the Homestead Act back in 1862. He then goes on to to tell the peoples’ stories who lived in the plains before, during and after the plains. There are several different stories within the non-fiction book that are gathered from interviews and diaries. One story is from the diary of a …show more content…
His claim within the book is evident through each brave story of life in the economic depression and natural disaster of the time period. With each interview or diary or letter, Egan delves deeper into the theme of survival and perseverance through the darkest of times. The people who he writes about are those who stayed before, and after the depression and never gave up on the American Dream even with all the weight of the world on their shoulders. The people’s experiences help show that while trying to survive, it can feel as though they have nothing to lose. When these stories tell about eating roadkill and suffocating from the dust it can be hard to know how they are living, but although it may not be the most extraordinary quality of life it is what they have to do to …show more content…
At one point in the book he cites another person’s story which says, “Going to the outhouse was an ordeal, a wade through shoulder-high drifts, forced to dig to make forward progress.” This shows survival because he tells that even though the journey was difficult and the destination was not much better, the people still persevered and continued to try for ‘forward progress’. Another important implication by Egan is that the people and the government were the reason for the destruction of the lands just like they were the reason for the destruction of the economy. He writes,“Of all the countries in the world, we Americans have been the greatest destroyers of land of any race of people barbaric or civilized,” which helps enforce that point because he states firsthand his disbelief that the people could cause such distress amongst their own home. This also helps support his contention for survival and that the people will do anything to make more progress, especially industrially, even if it means further destruction of the land. One last important point made within the book by Egan is that the American people were still searching for the American dream, even if they were not finding it in the plains they continued to search for it and make the best of the depression by popularizing the good in the times, even if all that was positive was the alcohol, ”some of the finest corn liquor in

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