An Examination of the Modernization in the American Society in Marianne Wiggins´ Evidence of Things Unseen

An Examination of the Modernization in the American Society in Marianne Wiggins´ Evidence of Things Unseen

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The novel Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins identifies several ways in which the American Society modernized during the interwar period, the time period between World War 1 and World War 2. To be considered modern a country had to become industrialized. "Industrialism is a way of life that encompasses profound economic, social, political, and cultural changes." (Modernization) America made three profound social changes which modernized the nation. The American government tried to improve education throughout the nation, especially focusing on rural areas. This and combined with the prosperity during the 1920s allowed science and technology to develop at a rapid pace which also had brought some downsides with them. Women were tired of not being considered equal in several aspects and started a movement. Marianne Wiggin's Evidence of Things Unseen clearly displays and interconnects how the American Society changed significantly as the nation became more educated, new technologies were discovered and women earned many new rights.
Education during the interwar period saw an overall improvement, however there were rough times. In the early twentieth century education was available only for the rich elite since many people did not require an education. The reason for that was that many people, about "one fourth of the country still work[ed] the land" (Wiggins 205) during that time. Most of the remaining three fourths worked in family businesses. Since the children would be future owners of those businesses they learned the necessary skills from their parents. All this changed when Henry Ford's company and other corporations started building big assembly lines for mass production. To work in these people needed education so ...


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...] TVA" (Wiggins 213). Societies acceptance of working females was increasing. "Working for wages gave women independence, and by 1930 one in four women held a paying job" (A New Woman Emerges). Women were well on their way to being considered equal.
American society changed a lot in the interwar period. Many unexpected things happened. There were ten prosperous years followed by ten years of misery. Americans managed to overcome several hurdles such as financial and social and became more modernized. Education became a major part of people's lives and literacy rates increased. New technologies allowed for easier life styles. Women earned many new rights and were closer to equality. All three major changes, mandatory education, new technologies and the women's movement, and their roles in modernizing America are reflected well in the novel Evidence of Things Unseen.

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