US History 122
Essay II Chapters 20-23
In chapters 20-23 I learned about some of the most important things in history. The 1920’s was a decade of profound social tensions between rural and urban Americans, traditional and modern, and the beginning of consumer culture, and a decade of prosperity. With America changing and dealing with diversity, depression and dealing with World War II, it had a life changing affect on us. Now I obviously wasn’t born in this time period but I love listening to my grandma’s stories about when she was growing up. I always find it fascinating listening to her stories about how it was in the forties, fifties, and how it is in our society. One of my grandmas’ closest friends growing up fought in the war. His name was Edward Crow but everyone called him Ed. Ed lived to be 94 years old, and was one of the nicest toughest people I’ve meet. He did not like talking too much about the war, but one of the things he said to me when were sitting at the table playing rummy “We all did things that we are not proud of, things that don’t deserve medals.” I could only assume he meant killing people that he didn’t want to, but I never pressed anything with him. The movie that came to mind while reading was, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” which I first saw in my sophomore year of high school while studying the war. The movie is set during World War II, and the 8-year-old Bruno and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father has just become commandant. Unhappy and lonely, he wanders out behind his house one day and finds Shmuel, a Jewish boy of his age through the barbed-wire fence of the camp which separates them, and the boys begin a forbidden friendship, oblivious to the real nature of their surroundings. Bruno disobeyed his parents again, while he sneaks out to go see Shmuel. They find the boy's discarded clothing outside the fence and the hole Bruno had dug, and his family enters the camp, searching for him. In the mean time, Bruno, Shmuel and the other inmates begin marching inside a changing room and are told to remove their clothes for a "shower".