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Postwar Literature

Introduction to Unit Eight of American Literature for Honors English 11

April Belback

on 12 June 2013

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Transcript of Postwar Literature

Postwar Literature 1945-1960
Politics / Historical Connections
The period following WWII began prosperity for the U.S.
However, ideologically, political and economical tensions with the USSR began to rise
The Cold War (1945-1989)
The "Space Race" began after Russia's supposed atomic bomb / released a satellite; the first man on moon was then the U.S. in 1969
Eisenhower / Nixon began a conservative mode (high employment / good economy)
Many were against the communist party; McCarthy began a "witch hunt"
The Social Scene
World War II had just ended
The soldiers returned home and they had goals to find a good job in a business or factory that was now converting to peacetime production.
Women returned to the home to become housewives and mothers.
Suburban homes were abandoned to young families just starting out.
More affluent families began moving outward
Social, cont.
The president during this time was Eisenhower; he had trouble in 1956 persuading Congress to levy more than 33 billion dollars for an interstate highway system to cross from east to west and from north to south.
However, the automobile was an American success story!
Civil Rights Movement
As the whites prospered and moved out to the suburbs, many African Americans were left in the old and decaying inner cities
By the mid 1950s, the civil rights movement had begun through some very influential people such as
Rosa Parks
Martin Luther King, Jr
, through the Montgomery bus boycott
The fight for equal rights and racial segregation had begun
In 1954, the supreme courts decision for the schools to remain separate but equal was ruled unequal and unconstitutional
The civil rights movement was well under way and would continue throughout the 1960s
The Literary Scene
A time of great literary creativity.

Jazz became popular during this time period.

A time of prosperity and stability.

Many of the finest American writers were at the height of there powers during this time.

Came to be called the “Silent Generation”

Based on
and non-fiction; Journalistic writing.

“America is woven of many strands; I would recognize them and let it so remain…Our fate is to become one, and yet many.”
-Ralph Ellison

Explain how this quote represents our country. Why?

Randall Jarrell
Gwendolyn Brooks
Full transcript