Essay about America's Sweetheart: Shirley Temple

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In the 1930s, several economic, political, and environmental factors caused Americans to lose hope of a future beyond the extreme circumstances in which they had to survive. America prospered during the roaring ‘20s, but the stock market crash of October 1929 set off a devastating chain of events; banks and factories closed and one out of every four Americans found himself unemployed. The sudden economic collapse began the era of the Great Depression, in which millions were jobless by 1933 and countless others wandered the country in search of work, food and shelter. “The core of the problem was the immense disparity between the country’s productive capacity and the ability of the people to consume” (Nelson). The economic downturn coupled…show more content…
Her first professional role with Educational Studios was in Baby Burlesques, a series of mock Hollywood hits in which toddlers played the roles of adults (Sonneborn). Instead of exposing her daughter to the publicity and press that comes with movie stardom, Temple’s mother allowed her to express her own opinions and protected her from the pressures of fame (Dubas 30-32). As Temple was quickly thrust into a career as a young actress, her family continued to support her. In 1934, Temple signed with 20th Century Fox Studios and began playing the type of role she fit perfectly: a confident, charming, curly-haired heroine. According to Dubas, “by the fall of 1934, Shirley was becoming a national obsession, captivating the country with a dynamic combination of personality, self-reliance and optimism- the perfect outlet for a public in the grips of the Great Depression” (22). She became an overnight sensation because of her impressive ability; “Though only five years old when thrust into movie stardom, she was able to master complex song-and-dance routines far faster than most of her adult partners” (Sonneborn). Robinson 3 Temple starred in 20 movies by age six, including Stand Up and Cheer, Baby Take a Bow, Little Miss Marker and Bright Eyes. She soon earned $10 a day for her studio time; she brought in a higher salary per week than her father did as a banker. Temple’s iconic image of blond ringlets and dimples lasted

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