Watch one scene of your choice from Cinderella Man and listen to one of FDR’s Fireside Chats. You can get access to these clips on YouTube. You can also rent the movie or get these items from your public library. Then answer the following question:
Given the morale (or lack of it) at the time, Cinderella Man not only strikes a poignant (look up the word if you don’t know it) chord in the hearts of people going through the Great Depression but those today going through the Great Recession.
Select some key phrases or sentences that James Braddock said publicly to describe what he and his family were going through. What were the most moving and emotive things he said. Why were his words effective?
For FDR’s speeches, do the same. What key concepts were reinforced by his choice of words and phrases? Does having seen this movie make FDR’s speech any more vivid for you? Give specific examples from the film and FDR’s Fireside Chat that you selected.
In addition, point out any specific events or dialogue in both the film and the radio broadcasts that deepen your sense of the despair that existed at the time of the Great Depression. How, if at all, can you relate these feelings to what has been said about or that you have experienced in the Great Recession (the U.S. economic downturn since the financial crisis that began in 2008).
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