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California geograph and history:Dust Bowl Myth and Fact - Essay Example

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The economy had taken a downturn for the worst and the weather conditions were abysmal. It was at this time that many believe that a mass exodus, an “Okie” migration happened. In an effort to truly…
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California geograph and history:Dust Bowl Myth and Fact
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Dust Bowl Myth and Fact The 1930’s were a particularly difficult time in America and for Americans. The economy had taken a downturn for the worst and the weather conditions were abysmal. It was at this time that many believe that a mass exodus, an “Okie” migration happened. In an effort to truly comprehend the true meaning of Okie, it is required that we understand who they really were. It is believed that there were two main types of migrants during the 20th century. During the period from1910 to 1920, the population of the migrants were economically well off, but were looking for better opportunities. The “California Hype” was extremely appealing to these migrants. However, during the period of 1930s, these Okies were quite poor and desperate. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t the California hype, but the desperately poor condition of the Okies that made the decision for them to migrate. Even though the two groups of Okies, separated by time had different motivations to migrate, they were similar in a number of ways. They were young on an average, most of them (about 95%) were white and the rest black.
There is a lot of speculation and rumours regarding the Dust Bowl exodus in immigration. Often people have confused this weather event as drought. The dust bowl is the events that happened between the period of 1933 to 1935 covering a small area where Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Kansas meet. In Grapes of Wrath, it is shown that approximately 250,000 to 300,000 people were forced to leave. It is an inaccurate representation. In reality the exodus involved only 16000 people. It was generally believed that the Okie population migrated mainly due to the California affect; this is not true, as they migrated mainly due to desperate conditions and poor quality of life. In a contrast to the families displayed in the Grapes of Wrath, the families that took Route 66 had about 4.4 members per household on an average. The road trip through California is described as extremely hard and full of difficulties. As a reader and viewer, one must question why these people took this route consistently if it was indeed so difficult and why no one bothered to look for alternate routes.
California is often shown to be the land of dreams, a place where there are plentiful jobs and equal opportunities. The truth was far from that. It was recorded that there were 6 men being unemployed for every job opening in California. Moreover, during the 1930s, California was in the middle of huge political chaos caused by the Great Depression. However, the struggles of the Okies were not that long. Two years later, post World War 2, the Okies returned to the plains, with plentiful rain and harvest lands. Unemployment became obsolete and prosperity once again returned to the plains. Read More
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