Modernity: The Idea of Need Versus Want

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Throughout time, the idea of modernity has evolved, constantly altering with developing technologies and generational changes. In Edward Bellamy’s, “Looking Backwards, 2000-1887,” we see the changes in occupations due to the availability, class, and connections that evolve over time (through 1887 and 2000). In Robert Crumb’s “A Short History of America,” he speaks about the advancement over time, industrialization, technology, colonization and societal establishment, and urbanization, which all greatly affect modernity.
In Crumb’s, “A Short History of America,” the twelve images show the same piece of land evolving throughout time, perfectly depicting modernity and the idea of need versus want. In the first image, we see nature by itself (nature, trees, and a flock of birds flying above a forest). As the images progress, a railroad and train are put in, a quaint, little house and telephone cables are installed, and the flock of birds considerably decreases, showing how a town has evolved over time. By the last picture, the land is considerably different, forming to the communities wants as time passes on. In the first image, there were less people so space for just nature was available but as time went on, areas that were unpopulated became populated and were geared for business and travel. The idea of these twelve consecutive pictures impeccably depicts how over time, modernity evolves with the needs and wants of who is populating that area at that specific time, whether it is in 1887 or 2000, we can clearly see that land has changed drastically throughout the world.
In “Looking Backwards, 2000-1887,” Bellamy discusses the idea of occupations and how they have transformed with modernity. As time passes on, occupations change with one’s choice, availability, skills, class, and connections. It seems as if fifty years ago, ones occupation was based on family lineage and skill, while today, family lineage and skill do not go hand in hand. One’s skills typically do not matter if one was born into a family business. One’s education is held at a higher standard today than it was years ago. Many years ago, one had the ability to attain a middle class job with just a high school education. Now, even with a college degree, it is extremely difficult to achieve a decent paying job. Pushing children at such an early age is a common thread in American families today to prepare this generation for the hard work that they will have to endure to land a job when they graduate from school, where before, children began working in high school or right after to help support their families.
Bellamy was an idealist who believed in a Utopic society. While there are extremes within a Utopic society, such as everybody dressing and acting the same, and no one having any freedom to do what they want, is one extreme of a Utopic society, which I believe was not what Bellamy had envisioned. He was on the other end, where everything is perfect and great. I would believe...

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