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Hope and Despair: 20th Century Essay

Hope and Despair in the Early 20th Century
The latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century were turbulent times in history, which reflected through the cultures of that time period.Unconceivable changes loomed on the horizons.European power was slowly loosing its grasp on the world and new countries began to rise in this wake.The monarchies of old were being replaced by the promises of democracies.The American Revolution set a precedent for other countries to rise above monarchial oppression (the Brits weren't as successful in their rebellion to the crown). New streams of thought seemed to challenge traditional ideas, like religion, and new philosophies were birthed from this independency.Such thinkers like Nietzsche proposed radical ideas and thoughts that reflected these turbulent times.Psychology and the study of human behavior shook the very walls of traditional views and imposed other channels that the "herds" could take in.Advancements in technology and science were exponentially increasing at this point in time.Improvements in medicine boosted the quality of life and inevitably raised the average life expectancy, which was great… not quite.As a result of medical improvements, famine quickly spread through societies.Technological advancements led to industrialization and the rise of corporations.Cities became overpopulated which allowed disease to spread like wild fire.The capitalism and democracy refaced the traditional class system, introducing the merchant/middle class.Aristocrats in the traditional sense were a dying race, while corporate leaders and industrial entrepreneurs quickly claimed their thrones.All of these factors conjured in the minds of the people, shedding both hope and despair amongst them.These times of uncertainty can be seen in Auguste Rodin's sculpture "The Kiss" and in the writings of Edward Bellamy (in partic

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