Satire In Easy Living

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The Great Depression of the 1930’s was triggered by big businessmen and their corporations. This resulted in growing anger and anxiety towards the dynastic rich. President Theodore Roosevelt attacked the wealthy by imposing regulations on companies and attempting to reform the rich. Another attack was Easy Living, a 1937 film, where comedy was used to make fun of the dynastic rich and big business. While both were obvious jabs at the rich, Theodore Roosevelt’s attacks were more blatant and direct whereas Easy Living is a lighthearted comedy that made the viewer feel sympathetic towards the Ball family. Growing up on 5th Avenue, Theodore Roosevelt was no stranger to wealth. However, early in Roosevelt’s presidency he utilized his power to…show more content…
Just as Roosevelt did, it places the blame for the Great Depression on the dynastically wealthy. However, the comedic approach is not as direct and is not taken as serious as Roosevelt’s attack. It even makes the viewer somewhat sympathetic towards the Ball family. The patriarch of the Ball family, J.B. Ball is one of the richest bankers in America. During this time, bankers were hated by most Americans. In 1933, the unemployment rate was 24.9 percent. However, John Ball Jr. seems to be completely oblivious to this fact. In one of the early scenes of the movie, we see J.B. Ball and Johnny having a fight over an eleven thousand dollar car Johnny purchased. Johnny even goes as far as to say he’s “old enough to make a living without any help.” Jenny Ball is another example of the rich being portrayed as ignorant to the ongoing crisis. Mr. Ball is aggravated that Jenny spent fifty-eight thousand dollars on a sable coat during a time when people are struggling to put food on the table for their families. J.B. Ball seems to be the only one in the family who understands the economy. He even yells at his wife, “we’re so close to being broke I can feel the wolf snapping at my pants… and they’re last year’s pants!” Although, throwing an expensive fur coat out does nothing to make up for the large sums of money his family is spending. The Balls were obviously not as affected by the Great Depression as the average American
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