Summary Of Amusing The Million

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Amusing the Million by John F. Kasson uses Coney Island as a turning point in American history before World War I. Coney Island at the rise of a new mass culture during the twentieth century allowed society to be free from the ever so conformity that the government has bestowed upon them. Being free from the urban industrialized genteel control; the creation of Coney Island served a purpose to detach from the formal culture in which they were living in. This era has sparked cultural freedom with that gave society a thrilling new find in amusement parks which went against societal genteel norms. Coney Island is was used as an escape from the industrialized life that laid civil order. Kasson explains the turn of the century that encompassed …show more content…

It was constructed to focus on neoclassicalism which manifested a perception of authority and order. The dominance of Italian Renaissance was the pinnacle of the Exposition for artists and architects. The Exposition gave artists and architects the opportunity to deliver a monumental White City. The white city was to embody public order and a vision of American cultural achievement for an age of disorder, strife, and vulgarity. When visitors came to venture they were immediately overwhelmed with the buildings but yet felt unsatisfied. The Exposition and Central park gave radically different environments in a unique way. The Midway that also was also another attraction that was popular with the public. The Midway had a variety of restaurants, shops, exhibits, and theaters. This was place was often called the "recreational area of the fair". It also had "sponsored commercial attractions which proved more popular than the White City's free cultural exhibit" (23). The Midway also offered a range of exotic attractions from around the world from Turkish bazaars, South Sea island huts, Irish and German castles, Indian tepees, Hungarian gypsies, Eskimos to the World Congress of Beauty of "40 Ladies from 40 Nations" (24). These creations intended to resemble an ideal culture which the elite class wanted for the urban society but they rather …show more content…

One of the main reasons for popularity was Cony's beach. Kasson States the obvious aspect was the lack of social rigidity and clothing (44). Bathing suits were not restrictive like customary streetwear but was freer. Kasson describes the atmosphere of Cony Island as less socially restraining and more sexual free to express themselves in a "naughty" way (46). This social behavior was noticeable throughout Coney Island which allowed "characteristics of The Midway, vaudeville, the circus, and county fair" (49). Kasson viewed the growing interest in the Carnival as an explanation of the public’s deliverance of formal customs. Kasson also states “Carnivals and other seasonal feasts and festivals have served in a number of pre-industrial cultures...which customary roles are reversed, hierarchies overturned, and penalties suspended"(50). Coney Island revolutionized the familiarized roles and values in society that has been inflicted upon

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