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The Roaring Twenties

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lorennicole545
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The Roaring Twenties, Jazz Age, and the Golden Years were names synonymous for the 1920’s. The economic boom after World War 1 liberated the American people resulting in an increase in population who were happy and worry-free. This inspired artists and writers to be creative. Some stories helped people dream and conquer all but others showed the hardships people faced.

The Algonquin Round Table Journalists, editors, actors, and press agents met on a regular basis at the Algonquin Hotel in New York began meeting in June 1919 and continued fro eight years. They contributed to hit plays, bestselling books, and popular newspaper columns. They shared admiration for each other’s work. These people had very high standards and they were very outspoken, outrageous, and they often quoted one each other. This group began to fade away as The Great Depression neared. They were a great example of American artists

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote several stories with The Great Gatsby being his most famous work. This story helped inspire people to believe that they could dream anything and achieve it. Fitzgerald’s stories were mainly about people becoming very successful in the social and financial worlds, but they did not share the same prosperity and the morals. He also wrote This Side of Paradise.

Unfortunately, not all books were happy and motivating. Several writers wrote about the hardships people faced in the 1920’s. In Alain Locke’s The New Negro, Locke wrote about the hopeless look on the blacks in the United States. This also provided black writers with greater possibilities for artistic freedom, explored new themes, and expressed rich folk tradition. Eugine O’Neil wrote The Strange Interlude. O’Neil changed modern writing and steered away from modern writing and took risks and rebelled against the norm. This book tells about the hardships, as well as the benefits of a woman in the 1920’s. During this time period, women were protesting. They wanted to have the right to vote. Another novel was The Waste Land. T.S. Elliot wrote this story to write about the ultimate example of the world’s loss of persona, moral, and spiritual values. There were flappers, mobsters, and high rates of murders and mysterious deaths. Even more disturbing and critical of the emptiness and even more intent on challenging the traditional views of a starkly defined morality was Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy. This novel, later remade into the masterful film titled A Place in the Sun paints an even more unflattering portrait of America's obsession with upward mobility and social status. The main character, torn between his relationship with a lower class girl whom he impregnates and the upper class beauty who represents everything that Americans are taught to struggle for results in murder as a metaphor for doing what it takes to get ahead. His only failure was doing murder well.

Maxfield Parrish was an American artist who helped shape the Golden Years. Parrish was known for many pieces of his work, but his most famous piece is name “Daybreak.” An exhibition was held in Paris in 1925, called Exposition Internationally des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. It attracted all of the prominent French artists, architects, craftsmen and designers of the period and featured their works. Although the various works did not all have a common aesthetic - the Art Deco style is in fact quite eclectic, with influences of Art Nouveau, Cubism, Futurism, Modernism, Neo-Classicism and Bauhaus (Benton, 2003) - the themes of the works did have a commonality. “The Lost Generation” was a

The Harlem Renaissance was a very important time as well. There were literary, artistic, and cultural significant issues affecting the lives of African Americans. These were the first important movement of black artists and writers in the United States. They began in Harlem, New York. Literature defined the moment in African American literature increased pieces published by black authors and writers wanted to pay tribute to their heritage and unique culture. It began as an idea, a discussion that ended with the migration of black writers of the Harlem Renaissance writers, poets, fiction writers, and essayists. Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, Helena Johnson, and several more encouraged and increased exploration of African American experience through literature landmark texts included The Book of American Negro Poetry which was edited by James Weldon Johnson.

“The Lost Generation” was a new generation of American authors after World War 1; specifically American ex-patriot writes who fled to London and Paris. They wanted freedom of thought and action. This refers to a society characterized by: lost values, lost belief in idea of human progress, and suggests feelings of futility and desolations leading to self-indulgence. These writers took many risks by using profanity and sexuality in their writings.

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