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1950's Themes in Literature

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Robin Moussa

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of 1950's Themes in Literature

Several authors were writing motivational novels in the 1950's, telling people that they control their own futures and that their lives can be anything they want them to be. 1950's Literature By Robin Moussa and Allie Naill Themes Common Science Fiction The Science Fiction genre as we know it today was created in the 1950's. With the idea of space travel becoming a reality, readers and writers across the nation became fascinated with the possibility of discovering intelligent life on other planets. I, Robot; The Body Snatchers; and Solar Lottery are just three of the hundreds of Science Fiction novels written in the '50s. Anti-Establishment During the 1950's, American society was having a sort of identity crisis. Just after fighting World War II, the nation was involving itself in the Korean Conflict. All the while, Senator Joseph McCarthy had most people convinced that there were traitors taking over the country in high government positions. Establishment and uniformity were prevalent in society and individuality was not commonly valued. This made many people very anxious, doubting the values of American society, and fearing the need to conform. Loneliness After emerging from a depression and then a second world war, American people were eagerly anticipating the material wealth that they had gone for so long without. When they finally got it, some were happier, enjoying new appliances and living in suburbs, but others suffered from the loneliness that comes from living in a corporate society. A faceless, suit-wearing businessman became a societal stereotype of the 1950's. The Beat Movement In fact, this anti-society theme was so common in 1950's writing that it developed a literary movement known as the "Beat Movement". This name comes from phrases like beat-up and dead beat, which describe how people were feeling during this time. Members of the small sub-culture were called "beatsters" or even "hipsters", a word we still use today to describe people who aren't conventional. http://www.bluesforpeace.com/beat.htm http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade50.html http://www.online-literature.com/periods/beat.php http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/outlines/literature-1991/american-prose-since-1945-realism-and-experimentation/the-affluent-but-alienated-1950s.php "Depression in J.D. Sallinger's Catcher in the Rye" Empowerment http://printedpages.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/bestselling-books-in-the-1950s/ Best-Selling Books Religion The 1950's was a very religious time for the United States. Between the years of 1950 and 1960, church attendance went from 49% of the nation to 69% of the nation. Several of the novels published in the 1950's were based on very religious, Christian themes. 1950 - The Cardinal 1951 - From Here to Eternity 1952 - The Silver Chalice 1953 - The Robe 1954 - Not as a Stranger 1955 - Marjorie Morningstar 1956 - Don't Go Near the Water 1957 - By Love Possessed 1958 - Doctor Zhivago 1959 - Exodus 1950's Novels That Are Still Popular Today The Cat in the Hat The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Things Fall Apart The Fellowship of the Ring Charlotte's Web Fahrenheit 451 The End Sources: Chapter 1
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