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20lecture1780wizardofozfilm09 - Lecture20 Summer2009...

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Lecture 20 1 School of Arts and Letters Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies Summer 2009 AK/HUMA 1780 6.0A Stories in Diverse Media Announcements: Reminder : Our final exam is set for Friday, August 21 2009, at 7pm 10pm in room 137 South in the Ross Building. The exam is worth 20% of your final grade. For those who will not be in Toronto for that date, you should be making arrangements with Distance Education for an offsite exam at http://www.atkinson.yorku.ca/disted/offsiteExam/index.htm . You are responsible for making these alternate arrangements. This exam is mandatory and it is your responsibility to attend and to arrive at the right time and place . Correction: the last posting date/time for the Discussion Rooms is Friday, August 21, before midnight, not Friday, August 22. Also, to clarify, the final exam in NOT open book. The Wizard of Oz : The Film The Socio Cultural Climate, 1920 40 The film The Wizard of Oz came out in 1939, just as the Second World War was beginning and the Great Depression, which really hit America hard, was nearing its end. This was a time when things seemed pretty bleak, not only in America but also throughout most of the world. Ten years earlier, in 1929, the American stock market had crashed and plunged the United States, and those many countries that were dependent on them, into a widespread economic depression. The decade leading up to this crash—the roaring 1920s as they were called—were characterized by optimism, progress, and prosperity, initially stimulated by the technological and economic
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Lecture 20 2 developments that arose out of the First World War effort. See Lecture Summary, Slide 2 . But there were reasons for the impending stock market crash at the end of the 1920s. After WWI many countries turned to the United States for loans and support, but the American economy sustained many of these countries in an artificial manner. As the decade continued, the economy was affected by a postwar depression as demobilized soldiers came back to their jobs and into job markets that were shrinking because of the end of wartime demand. As prices began to decline because of overproduction, economies in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia also began to suffer. The end result was widespread inflation, which eventually produced the stock market crash in 1929 and the decade known as the “dirty thirties.” In 1929 there were 1.5 million Americans who were jobless; but just 4 years later in 1933 13 million were jobless. Ironically, it would take another world war to jumpstart the economy again. Yet, at the same time, technological advances that we depend on today, such as the tractor and the telephone, were also invented or integrated into the fabric of daily life during the interwar period. Consumer luxuries such as wristwatches, automobiles, and washing machines became more and more common. Suffice it to say, rapid and extreme change characterize the time between the two World Wars.
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