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Flashcards in ASCND Social context Deck (14)
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Old Vs New south

Old south is representative of aristocratic wealth and ideas of hierarchical systems

The new south draws ideas from social Darwinism- the survival of the fittest- it is a debased method of survival and draws animalistic parallels of sex, desire and masculinity


The American civil war 1861-1865

Here the abolishment of slavery foresaw the destruction of the old south


The Great Depression

Started by the Wall Street crash of 1929 it dissolved the myth of the old south as land lost value


New Orleans

Symbolic of the new south- cosmopolitan aspects and tolerance come with a violent undertone and cruelty


The southern belle

In the old south the southern belle was an alluring female character who’s aspirations were to advance into the southern lady; accomplishable by marriage

Characteristics include:
Prioritises beauty and appearance
Completely reliant on men
Speech is sophisticated and respectful
Chaste and in control of desires
Conservative values


The roles of women and domestic abuse

Women were to subordinate sexually and emotionally to their husband. Domestic violence was considered a family matter


Attitudes towards immigrants

Immigrants were able to prove themselves during WW2 and increase their reputation and power in society


Attitudes towards mental illness

Viewed in a much narrative and more extreme light- seen as psychosis. In general people with mental illness where rejected.



Reshaped society giving rise to suppressed individuals and allowing people to rebuild their lives in postwar America



Given rise to by the Great Depression and WW2
Method acting
Characters believable everyday types
Setting bland and deliberately ordinary
Primary focus is interior lives of characters- psychologically driven



Stage time is real time
Aristotle- 3 unities
Concept of scientific determinism from theory of evolution- characters shaped by circumstances and external forces eg social and economic environment- ASCND IS A FIGHT BETWEEN SPECIES REPRESENTED BY INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERS
Explore taboo matters
Extreme form of realism


Attitudes towards violence

New south- masculinity is power and violence can be the determine
Violence comes with atavism


Attitudes towards the gay community

Tolerated but treated as weak and harshly- those who lack masculinity cannot survive without a masculine partner


American theatre

Before Williams era AT was conservative and religious- it began to include more setting descriptions and stage direction