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Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

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COLD WAR Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

During the Americas World War Two, the nation experienced greater heights of insecurity such that young habitats were very willing yet scared to start families or even explore into the skills, talents and abilities. In the year 1959 just after the Cold War, a very young couple got married and went for their honeymoon at a bomb-sheltered place. Some photographs revealed them spending their two-week honeymoon and later on stay in a deep, concrete and steel underground which was more of an adventure. Later on in their family life, the couple continued to enhance the strong image of family in the nuclear age where they progressively built on major areas in their lives such as; abundance of security and protection despite the ambiguity associated with the Cold War. Their public image became a symbolism to many other people, especially the youth on the aspect of forming marriage institutions at early ages. (May 1) Despite some vulnerability, the underground home formed perceptions in the minds of many on the aspect of family privacy, freedom, fulfilment and satisfaction in amidst the outside surrounding of doubts and anxieties. This is related to the beat generation which consist of post World War Two young group of people who decided to begin a totally different way of life from the societal norms. The main agenda was to enhance liberty and let people freely explore on their talents, needs and wants without fear of the outcome. However, after forming the beat, some people associated it with morally wrong and unhealthy ways of life which indeed was not the major aspect of the formation of this collection. (Literature Network 1)


I believe those who were deeply against the beat generation were those who did not know the value of history enhancement. This is because the beat pattern mainly developed in the era of 1950 by some American writers brought about the ease of human life and soul nourishment through build up of philosophical arts. These were a great asset in talent, skills and creativity enhancement. In this case, young people would freely interact; compose poetry and music, furthermore develop lasting friendships and families. During the Cold War Era, the young couple who were nuclear-sheltered became a major source of increase in early-age marriages and child-bearing among most people. Moreover, this symbolic incident contributed to the rising of inter-racial interactions and marriages. It happened to Americans all-round despite ethnicity, religion, education, socio-economic status or class. This is a very healthy way of life because it was a major factor towards the development of good relationships and understanding among various races. (May 2) Therefore, apart from marriages, other aspects such as business components and ideas would be strongly built through such interactions. In addition, these incidences clearly exhibit the growth and development of the beat movement which protested against the harsh and common American values for the middle-class. Some of the major issues that were publicly addressed by the beat include: freedom of legal publishing of obscenity tests, spiritual freedom, liberty to modern artistic, poetry and musical writing, expressions and publications, natural and biological consciousness, resistance to the military evolution of the industrial machine and value for indigenous groups of people.


Additionally, cultural interactions were well-established, for example, the formation of the Amerindian which was as a result of the mixture of American and Indian Cultures. Therefore, the above are clear evidences that the Post-American War gave the people of America that feeling and urge to set things back on track just as they were before the cold war. This was due to peace and tranquillity that they experienced some few years after the war full of torture and denial towards the usual life agendas. I can attribute the beat development as a result of the young Americans desire for freedom in all areas of life as long as nothing under the movement could harm any one. (Literature Network 1) The beat generation was the right of anyone to enjoy the peaceful and easygoing life aimed to quickly heal majority of the people from trauma they underwent during the cold war treatment. People were after putting behind all the miseries experienced before and begin new lives full of hope and happiness. Consequently, this was an opportunistic moment for exploration and build up of proficiency and ideas that could not be freely expressed and enhanced before. The war greatly triggered not only family lives, but also the work institution. Most people in comfortable and good permanent jobs were misplaced into forced labor works. However, after war, apart from the young Americans rushing into marriage and parenting institutions, there was increase in positivism and vigor among the people, thus increase in jobs such as self-employment and also educational opportunities. All these are attributed to Americans urgent need to express their potency to decision-making and free will. (May 3)


The same applied to the rising of the beat generation that were greatly in opposition of cultural arts restriction. This became an inspiration to the development of artistic groups such as Poets namely The Black Mountain who freely composed poems out of their own literary styles, rather than the strict, structured academic formats of poetry. Later on, majority of this groups literary arts were originally published. Free choice of composure in arts is very important because it enhances creativity and passion such that an individual or a group of artists are not restricted to a certain presentation layout. The aspect of restraint can be a limiting factor towards young peoples desire and motivation to explore on their creativities. (Literature Network 1) The children who were born and raised up during the cold war grew up into developing totally different views of life compared to those of their parents. They mostly were against the political, religious, social and cultural ways of doing things. Some of the specific aspects that they opposed to were sexual orientations and the roles and statuses of men and women in families and in the society at large. Besides, women liberation movements were formed. The new group of young people wanted to do things in their own way, totally different from their parental orientations. The same applies to the growth of the beat whose consequences are still felt up to date. In this case, men and women in the society compete together under the same education and employment levels and equal societal roles and responsibilities. Before the post-war, women were still viewed as inferior beings that could not perform some of the major tasks as men would.


However, since the formation of Women Freedom Movement, things took a totally different turning point whereby women shun off fear, strongly came out to compete with men especially in the educational and corporate world. They thus began rising up the ladder of success and some even overtaking men. Henceforth, this generation also brought in a group of brave and strong-willed women who were unbeatable by men. Therefore, the post-war scenario contributed to a totally different attitude and mind-set among the young people from what they had earlier on learnt from their families. (May 4) Conclusion Therefore, from the look of the issues that were mainly addressed in the beat, it clearly displays a response to the post-war terrorism. Most of the actions by young Americans are against the strict measures observed during the cold war. Evidently, in as much as this generation wanted to exercise liberty in majority of societal performances, they also wanted to completely rub off the strict measures and regulations that were adhered to by Americans without questioning. This was a very strong and independent move that defined societal democracy whereby people are not only tied up to the governing rules placed, but are also free to express their individual feelings and ideas. All these can thereafter be discussed and a final consensus developed. Clearly, it is important to admit that the World War Two acted as an eyeopener to many people and contributed to strong individual stands through the power to question and oppose influencers. It added up to the democracy that is currently experienced, therefore societies full of liberty especially through expression.

COLD WAR References May, E.T. (2008). Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era New York, NY: Perseus Books Group. PP. 1-4 The Literature Network. (2000-2012). The Beat Generation-Literature Periods and Movements: Jalic Inc.