In the 1920's America was presented with some challenging times. Her people were faced with tremendous economic hardships. Life for the typical American family could be described as anything but easy. This hardship produced a sense of uncertainty about the future. With this uncertainty American's had nothing but their faith, hopes, and dreams to live off of. As illustrated in Russell Baker's book, Growing up, American's felt the extreme drive to "Make Something of themselves. In a way it was out of pure hope to have a better life. In the book Russell's mother Lucy Elizabeth can be found saying this repeatedly. For a woman such as Lucy, the only hope of success she had was through that success that her son was capable of. Russell's story is like that of most American's. Through his description of life in the Great Depression, one can only read on and hope that he eventually does make something of himself.
Most American's had a belief that through hard work and determination one could move up in society or economically. For these American's the Depression was especially difficult. The doubt of their future being anything desirable forced these people into a sort of fantasy land. In this fantasy land American's could pretend that there was hope for their futures. They could make something of themselves in this fantasy land. Every opportunity had to be seized but if they did so then there was light at the end of the tunnel. Russell writes about his uncle Hal, who always had far fetched business propositions, conning Lucy Elizabeth out of seventy five dollars to start a business. The little glimmer of hope in this business plan tempts Lucy right into the fantasy land of making something for one's self. He writes, "A student of human frailty, she probably knew deep in her soul that he was one of life's losers. Still sh