Roaring 1920s in the United States


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What does come to your mind if I tell you 1920s in the United States? Let me guess: fancy jewelry, noisy parties, alcohol supplies, flat dresses. That is what everybody knows about the nineteen twenties, but if we look deeper, we can realize that not everything was that extravagant. Scott Fitzgerald approach us to the roaring decade with his novel “The Great Gatsby”, showing how new social values, crime, luxurious parties, glamour and glitz highlighted the Roaring Twenties.

Have you ever ask to yourself why “roaring”? What did make the decade roar? Well, it all began when in 1929, in New York City, a truck with microphones and recording devices wanted to measure the sounds in the city, in order to stablish policies of health for the citizens and they discovered that a “Bengal tiger could roar or snarl indefinitely without attracting the auditory attention of passers-by.” (Rueb, E.S. October 25, 2013. The New York Times).

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Based on this, Emily Thompson, a sound historian, choose the name “Roaring Twenties” to denominate the noisy time, that according to herself “It’s a wonderful lens to see what a society is worried about and to understand the people more in general,” she added. “If you listen carefully, you can learn a lot about a culture.” Therefore, the 1920s were noises from every factory working, every radio broadcast transmitting, every car passing by and every jazz musician playing. It was 1919 when all that was known by the time, changed drastically. War was over and American citizens were in peace, so they chose to take definitely choices on outside approaches and began to have a not all that American way of life, from the increase of business to changing values.

In this decade the United States car industry started to develop thus did the mischance fatalities, which expanded by around 150 percent because of the speed of cars. In one of the documentaries, the presenter comments about a boy and the way he died: “A four modality strikes and kills him on the street. He is the fourth boy in the area to be stuck by a car within 24 hours”. Brisley, T. (Director), Schreiber, L. (Performer). (2017). America in Color: The 1920s. United States: Arrow International Media. Suddenly, normal American subjects could buy cars thus, they started to change the American way of life. By 1929, one out of each five Americans had a car, utilizing their own cars rather than the streetcars. Most cars were enclosed; offered private space for romance and sex; and women who figured out how to drive accomplished newly discovered freedom, taking visiting trips with female companions, overcoming streets and making repairs when their vehicles broke down.

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