Summary of Now and On Earth by Jim Thompson

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Summary of Now and On Earth by Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson's Now and On Earth tells the story of a family's struggles in San Diego, California. The story was based between 1930 and 1942, which was World War Two as well as the great depression. James Dillon is the main character, he struggles with money as well as his family. He lives with his mother, as well as his wild family who never seems to calm down. James has many struggles, he doesn't make enough money to properly fund his family. They are always strapped for cash, and James has an addiction to alcohol. The great depression left many families without jobs, money, and homes. This book is about James Dillon's struggles during the 1930's. Money was, for many people, the key to happiness as well as the cause of sorrow. For many Americans life revolved around money. Money separated people, the size of their wallet determined the level of happiness, as well as their social class, during that time the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Money was scarce, but James had a job, a low paying job that didn't give him much, but enough to get him and his family by.

Life during the depression was hard, and money was the key to happiness. James and his family needed money but were always strapped for cash. A good example as to how money was such an important thing is mentioned in the book, a worker went into a dinner and asked for a beer and a cheese sandwich, he handed the waitress a dollar and she gave him but a dime in return, he asked if there is some mistake and she said "Oh no. Sandwich, fifty. Beer, forty. No mistake." "Funny, What's those?" in a rather sarcastic tone. "Why their my breasts, you fool! What'd you think they were?" He responded "Didn't know. Everything else is so high in here I thought they might be the cheeks of your ass.". This attitude was a common one, people were commonly in a bad mood. This is because money was short and it causes problems. People don't want to pay 90 cents for a beer and a sandwich and when they only have a dollar.
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