Unit One 50s-60s

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Language Arts

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Unit One 50s-60s

The 50s and 60s in America were marked by an era of change and reformation. The Civil Rights Movement began, TVs started appearing in most households, and men were returning from war. Americans were high on life and felt on top of the world. This created a superior and egotistical attitude in many people. They were judgemental, critical, and self-centered. The characters in these stories found joy in putting others down to feel better about themselves, feeding their desires above others, and convincing themselves of their superiority.

Seeking Happiness

In feeling superior




"The Other Foot"Ray Bradbury

"Revelation"Flannery O'Connor

"Thank You, Ma'm"Langston Hughes

Mrs. Turpin has a bad case of superiority complex. She even creates a hierarchy of people and puts herself near the top. She has hateful thoughts and labels people within a minute of seeing them. She is condescending in her thoughts, speech, and actions. She tries to convince herself how grateful and happy she is because of her self-given label. Mrs. Turpin has spent her life convincing herself she is happy instead of actually being happy. When she sees the bigger picture of life, she is finally at peace with herself.

Roger portrays his selfishness when he does not think of the repurcussions of his attempted theft. The woman warns him that 'shoes got by develish ways will burn [his] feet' (17). His pride got ahead of him. Roger was seeking happiness in the thrill of crime and in material things. He learns that this will not quench his desire for true joy.

Willie is quick to judge and to take an opportunity of revenege. For a large part of the story, he thinks making others suffer they way he suffered will be fulfilling. Because of his past inferiority, he now seeks joy in being superior to those who have hurt him. Eventually, he lets go of his hatred and realizes his happiness cannot be found in superiority.

Hierarchy of people according to Mrs. Turpin (19)

Culture and changes in the 1960s

Unit One:50s-60s

People with money and landHome-and-land ownersHome ownersWhite-trash/ Most colored people

Continue to Unit Two



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