Critical Analysis Of Dancing In The Dark

1135 Words5 Pages
In Dancing in the Dark, Morris Dickstein shares his perceptive study about the 1930s. He presents his ideas by using famous works and focusing on the culture. He looks at how those who faced the Depression and those who ran away from it, have a lot in common. This paper will review the era as well as Dickstein’s main arguments, and will evaluate his quality of writing and observe any areas of weakness within his research.
Dancing in the Dark examines some of the hidden anxiety of the era which ironically can be found through some of its most familiar productions at that time. The first section of his book focuses on the eras large scale poverty in realist fiction and poetry that portrays the people living paycheck to paycheck. These were
…show more content…
The author does a good job of illustrating that the Great Depression was meant to have a light at the end of the tunnel. However, his writing is weakened by the presence of generalization and overuse of common knowledge. The author’s question would simply be: “how did the cultural shift (film, writings, art, and music) unknowingly change America’s perspective and outlook towards the Depression?” Dickstein was able to answer this clearly in the conclusion. He claims that during this economic crisis Franklin D Roosevelt wanted to promote “courage to face up to the social crisis, empathy for the sufferings of others, a break with past thinking about how we ought to live” (Dickstein 524). Dickstein believes that the films helped instill those attributes unknowingly in the American people. The most effective example referenced by Dickstein is The Wizard of Oz. The qualities that the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow demanded (a heart, courage, and a brain) were qualities that Americans needed to get through the eras economic crisis. The characters in the film undergo various trials as they follow the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City; from the road of the Great Depression to the Promised Land. It was the explanation as to why the last few years of the 1930s were strangely optimistic. The author’s evidence at first felt some things were unaddressed, but as the book came to an end, it felt complete. The author’s conclusions makes sense because it connects to readers in the present. As he referenced The Wizard of Oz, he was able to show how Americans were able to find those optimistic traits in themselves. It’s by working together and using their own strengths to find their way home that encouraged people to keep their heads up. This will convince the reader because media in today’s society has the same effect on influencing people, whether it be

More about Critical Analysis Of Dancing In The Dark

Open Document