Culture and Lifestyles of the 1920`s

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Culture and Lifestyles of the 1920's

Go the About.com web site on Flappers in the 1920s and answer the questions below.
http://history1900s.about.com/library/weekly/aa022201a.htm
1.
What are some of the factors that caused people of the 1920s to try and break away from the
traditional values of society?
2. What new values and attitudes did these people embrace?
3. Who were "flappers" and how did their appearance and actions reflect this shift in attitudes and
values?

Go to the "Dear Parents..." An Open Letter from a Flapper by Ellen Welles Page, Outlook
Magazine, Dec. 6, 1922 and answer the questions below.
http://lancefuhrer.com/dear_parents.htm
This is an actual letter written by a flapper of the 1920s and is an excellent example of an historical
record. You are going to compare this to the previous article to determine how well it researched and
presented the facts of life in the 1920s.
4.
5.
6.

Describe three effects that the "Great War" had on the flapper and her peers.
List six (6) characteristics of the "flapper" in the 1920s.
How well does the information you have recorded from this letter match up with the previous web
site? Give a couple of specific examples to justify your answer.
Go to the “Slice of Life” web page.
http://lancefuhrer.com/life1.htm
This is a collection of magazine covers from Life magazine. While these are paintings they are also
excellent examples of the historical record and will serve to “double check” what we have already learned
about flappers from the first two web sites.
7.
Click through the collection of 10 images and as you view the posters make a two lists:
a) the dress of the flapper, and
b) the activities of a flapper.
8.
Compare the additional historical evidence you have now collected to the previous two web sites.
How accurate a picture did the magazine covers give you of the flapper image and activities?
9. What might account for some of the differences you found between the three different pieces of
evidence that you examined?

Go to the Music of the 1920s page
This series of questions deals with music of the 1920s. From your own experience you know that taste in
music differs from generation to generation and from group to group in the same generation. As you listen
to the music, try to fit it into what you have learned about the 1920s, keeping in mind that this was the
music of 80 years ago - before the time of computers, synthesisers, and electric guitars.
http://www.bassocantante.com/flapper/music.html
Read the text and then listen to the clips of 1920s music. One of the most famous dances of the 1920s
was the Charleston. You can see an example of the dance and the
music at http://lancefuhrer.com/charleston.htm
10. Why did some people in the 1920s feel that jazz music was “dangerous” and “evil”?
11. Look at the lyrics below to the track entitled “Doin' the Raccoon” by George Olsen.
a) Was the lifestyle of the 1920s only available to the wealthy and well-to-do or could other income
groups participate in the freedom and excitement of the 1920s?
b) What do the lyrics of "Doin' the Racoon" tell you about the “attitude” in much of the music of the
1920s?
Doin' the Racoon
College men, knowledge men,
Do a dance called racoon;
It's the craze, nowadays,
And it will get you soon.
Buy a coat and try it,
I'll bet you'll be a riot,
It's a wow, learn to do it right now!
High brow, low brow, intermediate,
Make believe they're all collegiate, soon,
To do the raccoon!
Racoon coats don't care who's wearing 'em,
Hallroom boys will all be sharing 'em soon,
To do the racoon!
Every day its popularity grows,
It's the most important item in clothes.
Ten bucks down, and though it scratches you,
Wear it 'til the sheriff catches you, soon,
To do the racoon!
Oh, they wear 'em down at Princeton,
And they share 'em up at Yale,
They eat in them at Harvard,
But they sleep in them in jail!
They store 'em at Ohio,
They're hawked at Notre Dame,
They carry 'em at California,
But they wear out just the same!
At Penn, they're made of rabbit,
At Vassar, sex appeal,
At Nebraska, made of airedale,
In Chicago lined with steel!
From every college campus comes the cheer: oy-yoy!
The season for the racoon coat is here, my boy!
Rough guys, tough guys, men of dignity,
Join the racoon coat fraternity, soon,
To do the racoon.
Rich men, poor men, all have pride in them,
No one knows who walks inside of them, soon,
To do the racoon.
Every day you'll have your downs and your ups, high-ho,
Every day those racoon coats will have pups, I know!
Get a girl and start to hurry her
Right downtown to some big furrier, soon,
You'll do the racoon!
Rac, rac, rac, rac, rac-rac-rac racoon!