In spite of social and economic upheaval, the 1900's prospered as a whole. The 1920's were marked by technological, historical, literary, and political, phenomena. Society was experiencing a new way of life, characterized by new technology that enabled Americans to kick back and enjoy all life had to offer. During the 1920's, the United States started off on a joyride in an "era of wonderful nonsense" (World Book Encyclopedia p.114). Americans felt lighthearted and optimistic after WWI. New advances in technology were invented like the "Model T" and canned foods.
People spent more money on travel and vacation resorts. They announced a new generation with jazz bands and a craze for sports and dances. Life in the home was also affected. Ready-made clothing, and household appliances gave women the opportunity to release themselves from everyday drudgery. More women began to seek work outside of home. Daring girls nicknamed flappers shocked the older and more traditional members of society.
Their short skirts, bobbed hair, and public use of cigarettes were frenetic compared to the previous style of that time. In 1919, Amendment 18 to the Constitution prohibited the manufacture and sale of liquor. This marked a turning point in America's history. Many people resented this new law and drank in illegal clubs called speak-easies. Gangsters took over bootlegging and crime increased. The federal government found it almost impossible to enforce prohibition, mainly because society had such a strong opposition towards it.
The Jazz Age was a golden period in American literature, distinguished by the works of such writers as Willa Cather, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, and Carl Sandburg. At the same time, American writers began to influence world literature.
A period of disillusion and cynicism that followed WWI found expression in the writings of a grou…