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Through the diaries and letters of ordinary citizens, we see first-hand the hardships brought by the Great Depression. As illustrated by this entry from the journal of Clara Alquest Sherman, poverty forced people to make exceptionally difficult choices, even on matters of devotion. Clara wanted to attend church to hear the sermon of Dr. Merriam but she had only a half dollar coin. She would have felt obliged to put a donation in the collection box at church, but could not afford to give the whole fifty cents. She decides not to attend church. Clara speaks of herself as a "poor ant that works all day" alluding to Aesop's fable of the ant and the grasshopper.