Interwar Period

The first part of the reading response should be a paragraph giving an overall summary of the reading. The rest (the majority of the response) is a personal intellectual record of thoughts generated by the reading. Feel free to take your ideas to the edge of possibility, to link them to material from other courses. For example, you might relate your reading to a movie. You might explore internal contradictions in a writer’s argument or two opposing views and your own reaction to those views. Develop arguments. Ask questions. When you write, focus on one or two themes or topics. Don’ts: Except for the first section, don’t merely summarize readings or lectures.

Though the period between 1918 and 1939 is called “the interwar years” (and quite rightly so), it was not just a hiatus between one conflict and the next, dominated by the shadow of the Versailles Treaty and growing international tension. During that time, women gained the right to vote in many European countries, hemlines went up, then down; consumer culture rose, the Spanish Civil War raged, fascism overtook Germany and Italy — and then came the Great Depression. The Focus this week is Metropolis, an early dystopian science fiction movie, which starkly dramatizes the horrors of the modern machine (both literally and metaphorically) and the subjection of one social class to another. It was made in 1925, in Germany’s Weimar Republic. It was not received well, though it is now considered a masterpiece of silent film. (H.G. Wells said that some of the movies looked a good deal like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and called it “quite the silliest film.”)

1. Watch the movie Metropolis 1927 (you can rent on Amazon for $2.99, I will pay you that much in return along with the final payment, EX: Final payment + $2.99)

2. Watch the two videos: “The Interwar Years” and “London’s Black Artists and Models in the Jazz Age.”

Write your reading response. Metropolis should be the focus, What is your general impression now of the years between the wars? What lies behind those impressions? For more information on the Interwar Period  check on this:

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