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The Roaring Twenties Research Paper

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The Roaring Twenties
The 1920s is an age of dramatic social and political change. Orval and Mary, both single, are in their teens and early twenties during this revolutionary decade. People from coast to coast buy the same goods (thanks to nationwide advertising and the spread of chain stores), listen to the same music, do the same dances and even use the same slang! Many older Americans are uncomfortable with this new, sometimes racy, “mass culture.” However, for a small handful of young people such as Orval and Mary, the 1920s is roaring indeed.
The Birth of Mass Culture
During the 1920s, many Americans have extra money to spend, and they spend it on many consumer goods such as clothes and, in particular, radios. The first commercial radio
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Jazz bands play at dance halls. Radio stations and phonograph records (100 million of which are sold in 1927 alone) carry their tunes to listeners across the nation. Some older people object to jazz music’s “vulgarity” and “depravity,” but many in the younger generation love the freedom they feel on the dance floor. The Charleston is a very popular dance of the 1920s, danced by both young women (Flappers) and young men of that generation. The Charleston involves the fast-paced swinging of the legs as well as big arm movements. Mary, in her late teens, enters a Charleston contest held at the Majestic Theater in downtown East St. Louis. She wins this dance contest and has a memory that lasts a…show more content…
The 1920s fashion for women is all about getting loose. Women wear dresses all day, every day. Day dresses have a drop waist, which is a sash or belt around the low waist or hip, seen in the above photo, and a skirt that hangs anywhere from ankle on up to the knee but never above. Skirts are straight, pleated, or tired. Contrary to popular misconception, the short skirts and bold make-up of the flapper does not rule the fashion of the day but is an iconic and memorable look. As hems rise, the legs are suddenly and shockingly on display. Silk and rayon stockings come in shades of colors that give the appearance of bare legs. Flappers sometimes roll their stockings to just below the knee for ease of movement while
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