Reader Response Essay, John Kasson, Amusing the Million

709 Words3 Pages
American culture changed at the turn of the century due to a challenging reestablished social order. Coney Island at the beginning of the twentieth century had a profound impact on societal norms. Outside of Coney Island, women were often treated as inferior while men ruled the throne in nearly all aspects of life. However, within Coney Island the gender gap was equalized. Coney Island served as a medium to a change in the traditional mindset. Here, the hotels, amusement parks, and rides and events that the civilians encountered a display of immorality, fast pleasure and love for profit. As Kasson states "At the turn of the century the nation was beginning a pivotal transition form an economy organized around production to one organized…show more content…
It attracted people because of the way in which it mocked the established social order." (Kasson 50) The genteel elite considered the island to be a corrupt image of society. Entrepreneurs such as George Tilyou, tried to transformed the resort by elaborating new healthy attractions. Progressives like Jane Addams along with some urban reformers could not wait to demolish Coney Island's "cheap commercial entertainment" and convert the site into a

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