Coney Island In The Twentieth Century

850 Words4 Pages
Amusing the Million Defying the traditional Victorian way of life, Coney Island, at the turn of the century, had a profound consequences on the societal norms. The contrast between the atmosphere in Coney Island and the outside everyday life was immense. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Coney Island served at a catalyst for a radical change in the public frame of mind by vigorously shaking the old norms. The rigidity of the Victorian era was interrupted by a looser and energy full ambiance. The deviation that Coney Island caused from the genteel culture, especially in the strictness in gender roles, was fundamental in the major changes that occurred in the twentieth century. The amusement parks and rides focused to thrill and shock the audience. In the genteel culture, men and women were not treated in the same way. Men were highly esteemed and reigned supreme while women were oppressed. However, Coney Island provided an unprecedented change that equalized the gender gap. Coney Island provided an open minded atmosphere for both men and women to experience amusement park in a "more vigorous, exuberant, daring, sensual, uninhibited and irreverent" (Kasson, 6) The Nineteenth century America was governed by a rigid set of values and societal norms. Men…show more content…
In contrast to parks in the past like Central Park which were designed to emphasize existing social structure and discipline, Coney Island provided a place where visitors can permanently step away from the realm of normalcy (Kasson, 41). These rides were a radical breakthrough from the way people were expected to spend their leisure time. The change gradually translated into a way of life rather than just a vacation. Through the breathtaking and sensory filled rides, people's fantasies and dreams were turned into tangible
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