The Invention Of Mass Culture And The Jazz Age Essay

The Invention Of Mass Culture And The Jazz Age Essay

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In the years preceding the Great depression, one would not have guessed of its catastrophic nature. It was a time of both social and political change around the nation, and the economy was thriving. The era brought with it a new independence for women, the invention of mass culture and the jazz age. However, this era was forced to end when the treacherous events of the 30’s and 40’s emerged.
In 1924, it was the height of the roaring twenties: there was minimal unemployment nationwide, Edwin Hubble was proposing ideas about spiral nebulae, and the Gatsby lifestyle was everywhere. On a much smaller scale, in Kansas City, Missouri, Maynard Blackwood was born. When I inquired about his childhood, Maynard began by telling me about his oldest memory, one from when he was only four years old. This memory provided a description of his first house: a two story building where he lived with his family on the first floor. In addition to this, he remembers the two boys that belonged to the family that rented and lived in the floor above them. When I prompted him to talk about the games and activities he enjoyed as a kid, Maynard began to profusely list pastimes that he and his friends would partake in during their free time. Mainly, Maynard and his friends played with what was available to them. This meant games like kick the can, hide and seek, and tag were popular with his age group. In a similar sense, all toys and sports gear were shared between friends so that all the kids could participate in activities like roller skating and ice skating. Maynard recounted that he borrowed his friend’s ice skates that were far too large for his feet, which made it difficult to learn, however, he also explained this didn’t take away from the fun of the ...


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...nt. This logic in a historical context suggests that behind all big historical events and eras are the individual experiences of the people who lived during them. In order to further understand the general history of the 30’s and on, I felt that I must start by understanding a complete individual perspective. Maynards recollections, descriptions and memories of his life effortlessly introduced me to his unique and personal history of the 30’s and 40’s. His experiences proved to not only create a remarkable person, but helped define the history I learn about presently. While I was solely focusing on my own viewpoint, Maynard allowed me for the first time to sincerely put myself into a perspective of the past. His openness and willingness to share his perspective leaves me thankful for these unanticipated insights and people such as Maynard who provoke these thoughts.

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