1940/50's

By Joe De Matteo

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1940's views on Family

This picture clearly depicts what 1940's America expected of its families. In the article itself it goes on to state in depth what it means to be a family, since it is a life insurance ad this uses american ideals of a family to appeal to thier audience. For example, the father is well dressed in an official suit and business like outfit. This is showing how in 1940-50's the man of the house was expected to be the breadwinner of the family since we associate suits with business and success. Also in this picture you can clearly see how everyone in this photo is incredibly happy. While it can be argued that everyone is happy because of the new child, every other ad I found that referenced family depicted everyone smiling. The first line of the ad refences the child as his son and heir. This shows how during this time, continuity was an important value. The idea of passing down a legacy to the next generation was important at this time, otherwise, why reference the child as an heir?
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1940/50's Views on Success

This ad depicts a small part of what America viewed as success at this time. The ad is for Ford so it comes to no surprise that the featured aspect of success in this ad is the car. The ad depicts the sleekest sports cars, and if you had one at this time you were deemed successful by American standards. What isn't so prominently featured in the ad is the house in the top left corner. This house is the stereotypical white picket fence dream house that Americans at this time saw as the perfect measurement of success. All of those buying the cars aren't buying alone, they are with family. This is showing how those who were single weren't deemed entirely successful. In short, success at this time was deemed as having a family, a house, and a sleek car. The more expensive they are, the more successful you must be.
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Conformity in 1940/50's Highschools

Comformity played a huge part in 1940s and 50s Highschools. In terms of fashion and style all boys were similar in one way or another. Most dressed in collared shirts and khaki pants, and almost all haircuts were kept short. Sweaters were also very commonly seen. For girls, dresses were very popular at this time and their haircuts were also kept short, only down to about shoulder length. Also in this yearbook it was easy to see that the majority of kids were involved in some school club or athletic team. What was interesting to see was that the majority of administration in this picture and in the entire yearbook were men.

Life as a Teenager

I don't know what to do anymore. I'm not athletic like the jocks, I can't act like the theater kids. I just can't seem to find a group where I fit. Maybe it's because I don't look like them, Everyone else is happy with their flat, short hair, that just doesn't work for me. I'd tear my hair out before I let it get away from being long and curly. I don't dress like they do, I can't afford to! How is that my fault? Does their money make them better then me? No! Of course not! But that little detail seems to stop me from fitting in. I spend most days at lunch sitting with "friends" but I don't say a word. They would ignore it anyway. The whole thing is just so frustrating! It makes me flat out angry! So what if I'm not a carbon copy like the rest? It doesn't mean I'm less than them! There's no one who can help. My parents brushed it off as a phase. My teachers wouldn't care. I'm stuck. I'm stuck as an outsider.