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WWII Culture and Literature Second World War in a Single Generation.

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1 WWII Culture and Literature Second World War in a Single Generation

2 On the Heels of WWI Paul Nash, a British Artist, painted the first piece “We are Making a New World” in 1918. He did the second painting “Dead Sea” in 1940-41.

3 The World Between the Wars Treaty of Versailles (1919) Increased industrialization, immigration, and urbanization Economic troubles and Social radicalism Violations of the Versailles Treaty. Britain and France did not stop the advance of the Nazi Party. WWII started on September 3, 1939.

4 WWII: New Technology and Experiences Jet fighters Blitzkrieg attacks Civilian Experience including Occupation Resistance Armies Atomic bomb unleashed in 1945

5 Holocaust Jewish people were rounded up in countries throughout the world The Final Solution was mostly aimed at Jewish people, but it was also aimed at homosexuals, communists, gypsies, political prisoners, disabled citizens, and others who were considered “undesirable.” POWs and slave laborers were kept in almost identical conditions. Schindler’s List and The Pianist and Life is Beautiful



8 Existentialism Questions the meaning of life and existence. Human beings can only be understood from the inside in terms of their experienced realities, NOT from the outside through sciences like biology, psychology, and studies of human nature. Think about Cynthia Ozick’s Rosa and Foer’s Oskar Memory vs. History Official Communication vs. Real Communication Existentialists see that human’s free will is what determines human existence. It does not come from the church or the state.

9 American Industrial Aid American food and supply production. In 1943, the U.S. produced 369 warships, while Germany built only 3. By 1945, the U.S. had 1.5 million people in combat-support jobs.


11 Civil Liberties and Citizenship Pearl Harbor Japanese Internment Camps


13 Mine Okubo Born in Riverside, CA in 1912 Went to Poly High School and RCC, got her Masters in Fine Art at UC Berkeley Was interned in 1942 along with her brother; she eventually got a commission from Fortune Magazine, letting her leave the camp after 2 years of confinement. Citizen 13660 (1946, reprinted1973 and 1983)

14 Arthur Asher Miller 1915-2005 Born in Harlem, New York to Jewish immigrant parents Father lived out the American Dream until the Great Depression. Attended the University of Michigan Tried to enlist in WWII but was denied because of a football injury

15 Role of Theater in Society “ We ought to be struggling for a world in which it will be possible to lay blame. Only then will the great tragedies be written, for where no order is believed in, no order can be breached, and thus all disasters of man will strive vainly for moral meaning.” Miller 1950 “I don’t care for a theater that is absolutely personal and has no resonance beyond that. We’ve become so accustomed to that we’ve forgotten that for most of mankind’s history, the theater was quite the other way. Theater was involved with the fate of the kingdom and the importance of power, of rank, of public policy. It’s in Shakespeare. It’s absolutely essential in Greek drama…In Greece's best time, people who were nonpolitical were regarded as idiots.” Miller 1985

16 Cynthia Ozick Born in New York City in 1928 to parents who emigrated from the northwest region of Russia. Lithuanian Jewish tradition filled with skepticism, anti-mysticism, and rationalism. Overcame anti-Semitism Transformed “The Shawl” and “Rosa” into a play which had staged readings in 1992 and was eventually produced off Broadway in 1996.

17 Jonathan Safran Foer Born in 1977 Everything is Illuminated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Eating Animals


19 Overview Arthur Miller: Capitalism Mine Okubo: Citizenship Cynthia Ozick: Memory Jonathan Safran Foer: Communication

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