American Culture in the 1920s (Twentieth-Century American by Susan Currell

By Susan Currell

Within the decade following the top of global warfare I, the us rose to its present seat because the best global superpower matched via an rising cultural dominance that will come to represent the second one 1/2 the 20 th century. American tradition within the Twenties is a fascinating account of the foremost cultural and highbrow traits that have been pivotal to the decade's characterization as "the jazz age." fending off superficial representations of the period because the "roaring twenties" laid low with a "lost generation," the amount presents a whole portrait that comes with chapters on literature, song and function, movie and radio, visible artwork and layout, and the exceptional upward push of rest and intake.

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70 The works of Darwin, the Bible, anthropologists, archaeologists and biologists were all used as evidence in the attempt to determine the relationship between religion and evolution and whether John Scopes had denied creation by teaching from a standard biology textbook. ’, and forcing Bryan to explain his fundamentalist belief in the Virgin birth, the creation of Earth, and whether Jonah was really swallowed by a whale or a huge fish. In the sparring between the two men Darrow showed fundamentalism to be essentially anti-intellectual, as shown in his cross-examination of Bryan about his belief in the age of the Earth and the beginnings of mankind: D: Do you know there are thousands of books in our libraries on all those subjects I have been asking you about?

56 Rather than curtailing the tensions in American culture, however, the proliferation of psychoanalytic theories of the individual, society and culture intensified The Intellectual Context 15 the paradoxical experience of modernity. To many, the new impact of psychoanalysis was associated with modern freedom and expressivity. To others, however, it became associated with enforcing and policing a new conformity and conservatism, one based on a consumerist or behavioural ‘normalcy’ rather than religious faith, politics or artistic expression.

110 These ideas were connected as much to the changing nature of American society as to the changing roles of women within it. Mass production soared in the 1920s, creating a huge consumer boom in which women appeared to play a key role. By the end of the 1920s consumer culture appeared as a new type of matriarchy, in which women controlled the nation’s pocketbook. Stearns used the example of the popular cartoon strip ‘Bringing up Father’ as an example of women’s relationship to modern cultural life.

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