Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Era (02/03/11)

By Sylvia Hensel


This story is written from the perspective of an eight year old as the world was thrown into yet another chaotic experience that changed things forever. These have been my observations.

It was Sunday and the family was on a trip to Canton, Ohio, to visit relatives. The car radio was playing some of the tunes of the day when the program was interrupted with the tragic news that would change our world forever. The date was December, 7, l941. We all remember it as the beginning of WWII, but I don’t think anyone at the time realized it was the ending of an age.

Immediately, men began enlisting in the Armed Forces, or were drafted to fight for the cause of freedom. Out of necessity, women were called into the work force, mostly in defense plants, or to replace jobs previously held by men.

Prior to this, married women were expected to stay home and care for their families. Men took great pride in providing for their families; and it was considered demeaning for a man’s wife to work outside the home.

It didn’t matter how small the paycheck, women were expected to stretch the money to cover everything needed to run the household smoothly. If the women could not do so, they were considered failures in their role as wives. Many an argument ensued if a wife hinted at wanting to get a job outside the home to help make ends meet. It seemed the only thing acceptable was to become a domestic.

Now that America was in war, as part of the war effort, the government rationed foods like sugar, butter, milk, cheese, eggs, coffee, meat and canned goods. The government turned to its citizens and encouraged them to plant “Victory Gardens.” It seemed everyone, the poor and the wealthy, participated in this endeavor. Women and children worked together, along with the few men left, to plant, harvest and can all that which they grew in their backyards, empty lots and even city rooftops. Co-ops were formed, all in the name of patriotism. Women found themselves able to do more than they ever thought possible and it was gratifying.

As the women joined the work force, they began to feel the sense of independence. Money was good, very good. America had just come out of the Great Depression where there were few jobs and little or no money. Women couldn’t work for the reasons already mentioned. Now it had become not only a necessity to work outside the home, but it was considered patriotic.

In August of 1945, the war ended and the men came home. Some women were anxious to return to their former job as homemakers, but not all. There was a great upheaval in many households. Men’s attitudes hadn’t changed. However, women had had a taste of freedom from financial worries and a sense of pride in their abilities to do many other things along with being a wife and mother. Some were able to convince their husbands that with two incomes they could finally get a few of the things they were not previously able to afford; and now there were so many more “things” to be had.

As the “Joneses” began to accumulate a large variety of household items, automobiles, boats, vacations and whatever they seemed to want (they were way past needs by now), neighbors and family members began to see the value of another income in the family.

Everyone wanted their children to have more than they did and the only way to get it was to have more cash flow in the home, so more women joined the work force. And so it is, each generation wanting more than the last, till we have come to a place where nothing satisfies anymore. Too much has become not enough. For the most part, family values have fallen apart as well as families themselves.

There is a lot to be said about “the good old days”, but would we want them back? I really don’t think we would want everything as it was. Medicine and technology have advanced too far to ever go back, but it would be good to recapture the integrity, respect, manners, and the sanctity of marriage, along with an appreciation for the blessings God gives us each day. We need to remember to worship the Giver and not the gift; for without the Giver, there would be no gifts.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 397 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Danielle King 02/12/11
Well said!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/12/11
You make some very valid points. I think how the name of the generations have changed from the Baby Boomers to Gen. X to the present kids are referred to as the Me Generation. This is a period of self-entitlement By giving our kids everything we've created a generation whofeel.. Thankfully not kids today have that attitude, but as you point out we must be vigilant.
diana kay02/15/11
interesting to hear some american history (being a Brit i am earning alot) and i found it informative.
i note that you begin with saying you are going to describe that war era through the eyes of an eight year old. somehow to me that did not come across in the writing.
Noel Mitaxa 02/16/11
A good thumbnail sketch of the changes that WW2 forced on us. But while you start with a memory from 1941 when your MC was eight, you end with insights that belong to a more mature mind. Despite this, the insights hit the spot.
Lollie Hofer02/17/11
I guess I never thought about the "snowball" effect of having women go to work during World War II. I was born a few years after the war and my mother working was just a part of family life. Good thoughts.