Living during the Great Depression was a difficult thing for most Americans to do. In the movie, Cinderella Man, the main character Jimmy Braddock suffers a great deal due to the depression. This movie greatly exemplifies the struggles Americans had to face during the depression. In this film, the Depression era was accurately portrayed. Many people had lost their jobs, and hunting for new work was a difficult task.
Jimmy Braddock had lost his career in boxing, and because of that he and his family went from living into an adequate sized home to a small, shoddy apartment.
This too was common, because most people could not afford to live in their homes without jobs. From a boxing match, Jimmy had hurt his hand, but he still went down to the docks daily in the hopes of getting a job. Despite being injured he still pushed himself to work so his family would get money. However, due to money being so scarce, food was as well.
At one point in the film, Jimmy Braddock gives his breakfast to his daughter. This small but important scene highly exemplified how difficult the times were. As a father, he did not want his children to go hungry so he had to make sacrifices for them.
Towards Jimmy Braddock, there definitely was some bias. He was a white, older man with a family to support. While life was difficult for him, he did receive second chances that any other group, whether it be ethnicity or gender based, would most likely not receive.
Despite being let go from his boxing career, Jimmy was offered a ‘one time’ fight for some extra cash. However, he soon was able to get into more fights, proving his worth until he finally was able to build his career as a boxer back up. He was definitely not in a minority group, and if he was, he probably would not have received as many second chances as he did.
Overall, this movie definitely furthered my understanding of the Depression Era. It was an extremely difficult time to live in, and not many people received help like Jimmy Braddock did from his manager. Yet even Jimmy and his family had difficult problems to overcome. During the winter, when they did not have enough money to pay for heat and electric, they were shut off. The man who was in charge of shutting it off had told Jimmy’s wife that he had a family as well, and he had to do it otherwise he would lose his job. The man clearly felt remorse for doing it, but he put his children first and realized he had a job to do. This is a good example of how people thought during this time.
Despite trying to help one another out at times, sometimes they had to put their families first. If we were to face trying times economically, we could learn a few things. Jimmy Braddock was an extremely successful boxer, and most likely did not expect to lose everything within a matter of years. In order to prevent that happening, keeping money stored away in a safe place would be helpful. Having a backup plan, or money for a “rainy day” would benefit someone if they found themselves to be in a tight spot and needed money fast. While it is good to relish in your accomplishments, it is always good to be safe than sorry.
Another thing we could learn from this film is that everyone could be suffering in their own way, and it is important to take that into consideration. One scene from the film, Jimmy’s wife is furious at his former manager for encouraging him to fight again. She angrily went to his home, where he lived in a fanciful apartment complex. Upon entering his apartment, however, she found that he sold nearly everything but a table and some chairs. Jimmy’s manager had risked everything for Jimmy, and he was trying to help him as best as he could, at his own expense.
Overall, the film was an accurate representation of the Depression Era. It showed a common family’s struggles, and even how some people received more opportunities based on things such as ethnicity, age, or gender. The film offered many lessons to be learned during times of hardship, and greatly exemplified the struggles Americans faced during this time.