ails against the grind stone to scrounge around enough money to get by. Imagine not being able to pay your bills and put food on the table at the same time and then think about how these people felt knowing that there were people in a better economic situation that were only getting richer. Why is it that rich people always seem to have all the luck? In the novel Paper Moon by Joe David Brown, Addie and Long Boy Pray change that whole scenario.
They’re an example of your average run of the mill father-daughter con artist team. They take money out from under the noses of the rich and the poor without them even noticing it. They are both poor and rich at the same time. History seems to show that this was done by a small amount of people to remain prosperous in such desperate times. In the early thirties, people were either poor or rich. There was no middle class.Order now
The rich seemed to get richer while the poor just got poorer, there was no in between. The only thing the classes agreed upon was the fact that it was necessary to do anything they could to climb the financial ladder. Joe David Brown’s interpretation of people’s dishonest actions during desperate times in Paper Moon accurately reflects the insensitive attitudes of the wealthy during the 1930’s. The wealthy and the poor came from different experiences and could not relate to each other.
Therefore, the conceited attitudes of the wealthy caused them to look down upon the poor and blame them for the wrongs of society. For example, the poor felt compelled to steal in order to survive, “Good people wept in frustration or turned to crime to feed their families” (Katz pg. 24). The poor were forced to get up and get jobs while the wealthy sat back and relaxed. The wealthy seemed to have an air about them that made them feel superior. In these rough times they did not realize the hardships that others seemed to be going through.
Instead they condemned the desperate acts of the poor and made them appear inferior. The immoral attitudes of society during the 1930’s caused people to lose their respect for the law. Consequently, the wealthy used their monetary power to solicit the law enforcement. For instance, “Many officials knew they could make a lot more money in bribes than from their regular salaries” (Napolo pg.
42). Because of this absentee nature, many things like speakeasies were able to pass right under their noses. Those who had family members in law enforcement were able to jump away scot-free while others would pay the price for their actions. The wealthy only thought about how their bribes would effect them, not about how their illegal actions effect society. In a like manner, Long Boy and Addie evade the law many times in order to benefit their well being. After attempting to sell some bottles of stolen liquor the pair got arrested for bootlegging.
Long Boy attempted to convince the Deputy that it was for a friend when the Deputy said, “This big bootlegger hea!h claims he don’t know the law. “People of this time tried to avoid getting into trouble any way they knew how. The tragic effects of poverty on society caused those who were once wealthy to take on a false identity so as not to seem poor. The morals of society drag people into concealing themselves from others so as not to lose prestige in their circle of friends. For example while in line to receive soup, “People looked down hoping their friends would not notice them” (Katz pg.
14). Poverty always seems to drive embarrassment into the hearts of people. People don’t want others to see them in a state where they cannot even afford to feed or clothe themselves. This forced both the wealthy and the poor to hide their faces in shame.
The over-exaggeration of the value of money caused the government to create a society that focused on wealth. As a result, many people during the Depression forcibly took action so as not to succumb to despair. Just as President