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Referat: American Culture in the 1920s

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American Culture in the 1920s


Decade of 1920s is often characterised as a period of prosperity and optimism
“Roaring Twenties” (brüllend, brausend, ungeheuer, toll), „Jazz Age“
New York was the true capital of creative and economic tumult
New words and phrases to describe this new world were coined and the black American English influenced the new vocabulary a lot, starting with the word jazz
also rising intolerance and isolation, which was caused by the First World War
overall, a period of great contradictions (Widersprüche) and cultural conflicts
Flapper
Flapper describes the new generation of young women
Short or bobbed hair, short skirts or pants, turned down hose (Kniestrümpfe)
like a rebel to the older generation
no longer confined to home and tradition
the flapper offended (ärgern, verletzen) the older generation, because she rejected the conventions of acceptable feminine behaviour
lavish with makeup
spoke freely on any issue
to smoke cigarettes became a fashion statement
flappers symbolised a revolution, the emancipation of women and embodied the modern spirit of the Jazz Age
The Radio
in the middle-1920s, a radio cost about $ 150
large piece of furniture with numerous dials and a loudspeaker
it changed the daily habits of its listeners more than any other invention to date
it provided (versorgen) people a source (Quelle) of entertainment they could share
Radio programs ranged (erstreckten sich) from live theatre to sport events, from symphony concerts and jazz to religious sermons (Predigt) and broadcasts (Übertragungen) of important events
Graham McNamee was often the announcer of big sport events and was probably radio’s first star
Was fascinating and thrilling to hear a voice flying through the air from a hundred miles away
The Movie
movie came from Germany over to the US
first silent films, “The Sheik”, with Rudolph Valentino, who has been one of the first Hollywood stars worshipped by fans
an actress, Clara Bow, was called the “The ‘It’ Girl”; “It” was slang for Sex appeal or just sex in general
“The Jazz Singer” was the first movie with sound (October 1927)
the new films were called “talkies”
great resonance, audiences waited in long lines to watch and hear the “talkie”
extraordinary popularity of movies inspired the construction of lavish theatres
for the price of admission rich and poor could be transported from their daily cares to an exotic escape
theatres glistened with huge, coloured electric lights and they got exotic names like the Tivoli, the Riviera or the Rialto
some theatres offered their clients provided free baby-sitting to let them taste the glamorous life they saw in the movies ; or even live orchestral performance and a stage show
Architecture
taste turned to the romantic and idyllic style
Houses were build in grand style, or, for those of more modest means, little bungalows or the story-and-a-half cottage; with a white picket fence
Style was exotic elements like Spanish and Turkish touches

Fashion
Especially for woman, tend to be thought of mannish, wild, skimpy (knapp and flamboyant (farbenprächtig, auffallend)
Long pearled necklaces, fringed, short or knee-length skirts
Fancy free, outspoken, little slutty, something of French prostitutes

Women threw out their corsets
In September 1921 was a bathing beauty pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where women were featured in skin-tight swimming-suits with knees exposed ( impetus for the swimsuit show craze of the twenties
Coco Chanel was one of the most influential designers; her designs liberated women from the 19th century corset; her style was marked by simplicity, elegance and comfort and in 1921 she introduced her perfume fragrance Chanel No. 5
Music

In foreground was Jazz
Flappers danced in elegant ballrooms or right in their living-rooms (just anywhere) the Charleston, the Black Bottom, the fox Trot, Tang and all sorts of exotic steps
Lot of people of the older generation said, that Jazz is that expression of protest against law and order and that such music has become an influence for evil
Charleston: rebellious kiss-off to civilised ballroom and waltzer dancers, way of dancing is influenced by African-Americans, contorting the body in unnatural and strange positions; the dance gained finally some respectability, when England’s Prince Edward of Wales (later king) performed his Charleston stuff in the public
Fascinations
A lot of people were obsessed with being the best at things that weren’t very important
Aviation attracted thrill seekers to set weekly new records for altitude and distance ( was still very dangerous); 1927 was the first transatlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh, which was the culmination of this aviation craze
The archaeologist Howard Carte discovered King Tut’s tomb in Egypt in 1922 and helped spark interest in Egyptian-influenced fashion, design and even the occult
The great magician Harry Houdini promoted interest in the occult as well
parts of the world still had not been fully mapped or explored, so areas like the orient and basically anything in what we now call “The Third World” got fascinating by the Western world; result was a sort of mish-mash of styles
African influences could be seen in the work of artists such as Picasso and in the music of composers like Darius Milhaud (classical meets African drums)
Passionate, violent movements and the very close body contact marked loosening morals and the more open sexuality of the 20s
New inventions were the game mah-jongg, a game from the far East, which got a national craze and the crossword puzzle, which took place in magazines and newspapers and finally in book form
Inhalt
Gut verständliche Stichpunkte zu Architektur, Mode, musik, Kino, etc. (905 Wörter)
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21.06.2002 von unbekannt
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