Culture During The 20s 40s: Great Gatsby

3164 words - 13 pages

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 and food”. After war, it is human nature to feel demoralized; therefore music plays an essential part in ameliorating this pain. As music began to brighten the mood, fashion began to alternate as well. Men began wearing slightly different clothing, now going from bland attire, to suits filled with a variety of patterns and colors. (The Voices And Music Of World War I.) ("Men's Fashions- 1920s.")
As for women, this decade was one of revolution and mutiny. Women received the right to vote in 1920, allowing them to enter the workforce and become independent. This new attitude towards women, created an atmosphere of freedom, resulting in the iconic flapper. A flapper was a woman who smoked, wore short dresses, and entertained; this was now the new figurehead for women all around America. These changes were rebellious, these women grew up in farm towns, and now they’ve become city girls. The amount of prejudice they received in return for their actions were immeasurable. Cartoons and stories were released nationwide against the changes women were going through. For example, this cartoon that appeared in an eminent newspaper called, The New Yorker.
This cartoons depicts the way society responded to the changing women of...

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