An Examination of the Modernization in the American Society in Marianne Wiggins´ Evidence of Things Unseen

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The novel Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins identifies several ways in which the American Society modernized during the interwar period, the time period between World War 1 and World War 2. To be considered modern a country had to become industrialized. "Industrialism is a way of life that encompasses profound economic, social, political, and cultural changes." (Modernization) America made three profound social changes which modernized the nation. The American government tried to improve education throughout the nation, especially focusing on rural areas. This and combined with the prosperity during the 1920s allowed science and technology to develop at a rapid pace which also had brought some downsides with them. Women were …show more content…

In many states, including Tennessee, it was common to teach the Bible's way of creation of mankind. However, modernized education led to "the Bible and evolution conflicting" (Wiggins 152). In Tennessee the law did not allow teacher to teach evolution. Nevertheless a high school tried to do exactly that and it led to a famous trial called the Scopes Trial. "The case reflected a collision of traditional views and values with more modern ones" (Scopes Trial). This new rise in literacy was at danger since "the 1930's were a perilous time for public education" (American Cultural History 1930 - 1939) because of the stock market crash. People were paying less taxes because of lower wages, therefore the Government could not fund rural and even some urban schools. "With cash money in short supply parents were unable to provide their children with the necessary clothes, supplies, and textbooks (...) to attend school" (American Cultural History 1930 - 1939). The government tried its best by funding mobile libraries in rural areas. These would cover large areas without being as expensive as educational buildings. Opal, one main character in the novel, "had been drafted by (...) [the] Mobile Library Corps" (Wiggins 213) which would go from house to house in the rural areas. The new, educated generation spurred an increase in science and technology. As a result of all time high economics and high literacy levels, new technologies were invented in the 1920s. Many families bought

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