The Film Chicago In The 1920's

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This paper looks at the 2001 film Chicago and its relevancy to historical events and thoughts. The film takes place in the 1920s, while the 18th Amendment was in full swing. It was a controversial point in American history that exhibited the limits of government involvement in American morality. American citizens objected to this, particularly “flapper girls”, who openly drank smoked, and partook in other rebellious activities in public in opposition to the roles of women in society. Some fundamentalist Americans had a difficult time letting go of these traditional roles, and for that reason, women in crime were treated differently due to the idea that women were thought to have had a higher standard of morals than men. This called for shorter…show more content…
In a time marked by independence and economic thriving, speakeasies, flappers, and a materialistic attitude created an atmosphere of freedom and carelessness — almost every aspect of society thrived. However, the reality of the situation is less than ideal. By the end of the decade, the economy was in shambles due to prohibition and the misuse of credit. Women still fought for their social freedoms and defied their roles set in the stone of American culture, and a spike in crime proved the popular beliefs of citizens were shaping up to be dangerous. The movie Chicago, despite it’s glitzy and dramatic rendition of this era, captures the underlying issues in a way that is accurate to the lifestyle of many Chicagoans. Chicago achieves the mood of the 1920s while displaying a relatively accurate portrayal of prohibition, women in crime and society’s traditional beliefs that also define the “Roaring…show more content…
They wanted not only political equality, but social equality as well. “The feminism of the 1920s differed from the earlier struggle for women’s rights...It called for independence as much as equality -- and recognized that the two were inseparable,” (Chandler 101). The idea that it is acceptable for men to drink, smoke, or go to school and work was not lost on women. They felt their positions as housewives should not be a standard, but rather an option. In the 1920s, there was an increase in the amount of women who attended higher education from 35 percent in 1900 to 47 percent in 1920 (Chandler 104). It shows their initiative to make their own decisions and find their own role in society. Outside of the workplace, women also objected the standards of marital status. They held firm in their beliefs that a woman should be able to divorce their husbands in a “term marriage”, a phrase describing a short, unsatisfactory marriage (Chandler 105). Women demanded a freedom to date without the pressure of settling down. They ultimately wanted the abilities of men. They began to take part in actions that were previously unimaginable for women to partake in. As they expressed their anger with the standards they felt pressured to follow, they shaped a new mould for the American women that allowed them the social freedom that goes hand in hand with their recent political

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