Extra Credit

During the 1960s and 1970s, new behaviors emerged from a once very conservative and restricted time period. This new way of acting shocked many Americans and quite understandingly created tensions and fashioned rifts in society. There was what is now known as a “generation gap”. This basically meant the younger generation had started to move away from the older generation. Howard Zinn directly relates this rift to the way in which people now thought it was perfectly appropriate to be gay. Being people thought initially that this practice only occurred within the younger generation, many were proved wrong as middle aged people and also old people were changing their was that astounded others. At the same time however, many young people remained straight.

I believe Howard Zinn chose to bring up the topic of gay people, as society in that period now felt open to the whole idea of it all. Individuals openly spoke about affairs, which before would not have been possible without severe circumstances. People now also felt the need to no longer conceal homosexuality and many went as far to combat discrimination. A sense of community was in search. Times were changing and society changed to a society that we experience today and are very much aware of.

Furthermore. I believe the title of this chapter was called Surprises as even the media began to reflect this content spreading awareness and the idea that this sort of behavior is now ok. “Court decisions overruled the local banning of books that were erotic or even pornographic” this resulted in this content being common in literature and even in normal every day conversation.

Another group of people that definitely changed during the 1960s and 1970s were women. Women were primarily viewed as being housewives, however, women now had more freedoms, which enabled them to vote and work openly. However, once men felt that that women had done enough whilst they were away, they were in a sense “put back into their place” which understandably led to Women’s struggle over change.

“World War II had brought more women than ever before out of the home into work. By 1960, 36 percent of all women sixteen and older- 23 million women-worked for paid wages. But although 43 percent of women with school-age children worked, there were nursery schools for only 2 percent- the rest had to work things out themselves. Women were 50 percent of the voters-but (even by 1967) they held 4 percent of the state legislative seats, and 2 percent of the judgeships”

 This showed the impact and freedoms they had during the war, however it now shows the reality for women once things were back in order. Alice Rossi, feminist and sociologist states:

“There is no overt anti-feminism in our society in 1964, not because sex equality has been achieved, but because there is practically no feminist spark left among American women.”

The surprise is not necessarily that women were treated unequally after they had been granted with freedoms, but that established women from this point on now had an effective voice in the midst of American Society

You Don’t Need to Work!

“The American Woman’s Dilemma.” Life Magazine. 1947

“a woman was to influence man and boy in her humble role of housewife and mother”

During WW 11, Men had to attend to their duties overseas, which meant women felt it was necessary to work. However, there came a time after 1954 when the men arrived back home. This meant that women no longer needed to work. Many people could argue that women were then rightfully put back into their place of being a home maker or house wife. Society felt it was only right to get back to the norm after the War. Problems were created in society however as many women wanted to continue working  as they enjoyed it. It was fair to say that women had a brand new outlook on life which resulted in more women wanting to work.

In addition, moving to the suburbs forced the women to be home makers rather than independent working women. Moving out of the city meant it was much harder to travel to their once job locations and it also created more jobs to be done such as maintaining a presentable house in the country.


The Oil Boom

The movie commences as Daniel Plainview, a mineral prospector, discovers oil and establishes a small drilling company. Daniel Plainview, along with many from his mold at that time period are seeking to take advantage of Oil during the early parts of the 1900’s

As the movie progresses, Plainview is approached by a young boy by the name of Paul Sunday, who teasingly tells him about what he believes in an on oil deposit under his family’s property in Little Boston, California. Plainview begins to portray the type of character he is as he rudely proposes a ridiculously small amount for the property hoping the family doesn’t know about the Oil. Paul’s brother Eli however does know about the oil and rejects the bargain bid and demands $5000 to fund the local church, of which he is the pastor. As Eli’s dad agrees with Plainview’s bargain price, Eli’s views on Plainview seem ever more skeptical as Plainview illustrates himself as very mistrusting and selfish. An example of why he seems to distrust Plainview is the way in which Plainview completely disregarded Eli’s attempt to bless the up and coming oil extraction point.

Furthermore as Oil production begins, an on-site accident kills a worker. Eli is first to blame the event as a result of not blessing the site.