"Could It Happen Here?" the importance of "It can't happen here" by Sinclair Lewis to american politics.

Essay by aasanduskyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2004

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Could It Happen Here?

During the Great Depression (1929-1940's) the U.S., falling apart at the seams economically, desperately needed someone to pull them out of the downward spiraling vortex of poverty. If someone happened to take advantage of the country's situation, they might create a dictatorial U.S. much like the one Sinclair Lewis envisioned in his novel It Can't Happen Here which he happened to write directly in the middle of the Great Depression (1935).

In the years of the Great Depression, the lack of jobs affected over fifteen million of the countries workers, creating a historically high unemployment rate of twenty-five percent. The lack of jobs and of money made everyone desperate and easily manipulated. In Sinclair's novel, one of the main antagonists, Berzelius (Buzz) Windrip, runs for president in 1936 with the intention of taking advantage of the country's predicament to win the election.

To accomplish this, he acts as a demagogue making many promises of ending the depression and making everyone wealthy quickly to gain support of the unemployed.

He made it appear as though he cared for the common man, he made this especially clear during the democratic convention where Civil War veterans, orphans, and poor men and women paraded in an attempt to make clear who he wanted to help. His promises include increased wages, lowered prices of goods, and a very enticing five thousand dollars guaranteed per household every year. Considering their situations, these promises made it quite easy for a voter to chose whom they elected. His plan worked extremely well. The protagonist Doremus Jessup, one of the only people not influence by Buzz's promises, discovered how many people Buzz actually affected. Many people he talked to voted for Windrip because they wanted the five thousand dollars he promised. He easily...