“The American Dream: The New Woman”
The third decade of the twentieth century, known as the American Dream, was exciting with many social and cultural changes. For many American’s, it meant a growth of cities, a rise in the economical culture, a boom in the music industry, and a revolution of morals and manners. This holds true, especially for the women. Women found their lives had changed in more than just appearance, and society had accepted that women were independent, and could make decisions regarding their own paths in life. The ‘new woman’ was here, and she was here to stay.
The ‘new woman’ was granted much more freedom in the 1920’s; society no longer dictated how women should live their lives. The ‘new woman’ was born, she “smoked, drank, danced, and voted. She cut her hair, wore make-up, and went to petting parties” (1). With these new revelations, woman felt more seductive, they “took risks” (1). They (women) realized they had a certain control over the sexual desires of men; many of them became more promiscuous. They realized that they could have meaningless relationships with these men, and not have any regrets about it afterwards.
Jazz music had an influence on the female society as well, new music, dances such as the Charleston, and the type clothing the women wore. With the introduction of this music, “It has been known to provoke close intimate dancing … the sound of the sax (which happens to sound like sex)” (2), many women used the opportunities of the music to seduce the men. Much of the clothing the ‘new woman’ wore was to attract the attention of the men as well, “hemlines risen to the knee, waistlines dropped below the hips and the arms and back were exposed to attract the attention of male admirers on the dance floor” (3). It is with this new clothing and the new attitudes of the women, that the ‘new woman’ is born.
Many revelations of the ‘new woman’ are brought to life in the novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The...
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