Essay on Culture during the 20s-40s: Great Gatsby

Essay on Culture during the 20s-40s: Great Gatsby

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History has shown that music, dance and fashion have a great affect on society and culture. Iconic artists and performers, and particular events during these decades influenced many rebellious outbreaks going against societal norms. The “Roaring 20s” (1920-30), had a major impact on adolescent behavior in America, starting in New Orleans, moving into Chicago and later, New York City. Throughout the 1930s-1940s a new adolescent culture emerged, influenced by early upheavals during the 1920s.
The twenties were years of prodigious changes and prosperity in many areas of society; for example, revolutionary changes in music and attitude of the people. In fact, this era was so centered on music that author; F. Scott Fitzgerald titled it, “The Jazz Age”. Jazz is a style of music different from any other because of where it came from. Jazz unified musical methods from both Africa and Europe, clearly two very different parts of the world. This distinctive fusion between cultures gave jazz a singular “feel” and rhythm. Jazz originated in New Orleans simply because of the type of city it was. New Orleans being a port city was the most ideal place for people of different ethnicities to mend together the elements of their music and create jazz. With jazz beginning to sweep over the country, it started to change people’s attitude as well, for it created a happy and good-natured environment. (What Is Jazz?" Jazz in America. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz) ("Overview of the 1920s." Digital History.)
After World War I, young men returned from combat feeling dejected, and disheartened. Music is renowned for changing the moods of people and bettering their state of mind. As General Pershing said, “music is as necessary to the boys as sleep...


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This poster was from 1943, showing Rosie the Riveter dressed in overalls and a red bandana. This depiction of women shows how important their roles was during World War II, while the men were away overseas. A song about Rosie the Riveter was also created shortly after the poster, to further enhance the importance of working during America’s time of struggle. (Miller, J. H.) ("Women At Work.")
Without the 1920s and 1930s, culture wouldn’t be the same throughout America. The 1920s was a decade of change in music, dance and fashion as well a change in the over all attitude of society. Having flappers drastically changed the view society has of women; now women were being seen as independent, authoritative figureheads in the workforce. The 20s and 30s were decades in which many everyday inventions were created, some things we wouldn’t be able to live without today.

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