Breakfast at Tiffany's

How Truman Capote Captures the Zeitgeist of America in the 1950s and 1960s 12th Grade

Yoko Ono once described the 1960’s as an era of release from the conventional bonds of society. To understand fully the rejection of society in the 1960’s, one must also evaluate society of the 1950’s. Truman Capote not only captures the essence of the 1960’s rejection of society in his novels Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood; he highlights the positive and negative aspects of 50’s and 60’s culture. In doing so, he provides readers of today with a valuable insight into an era of change that encompassed politics, popular culture, and presumed "high" art such as Capote's novels.

In an era that recalls the post World War I economic boom of the 1920’s, America enjoyed an unexpected period of prosperity after the Second World War in the 1950’. The gross national product increased by $100 million in just 10 years; as a result people below 40 on average tended to spend more and save less. A de facto pent up consumer demand stimulated capital in big businesses, and high wages along with low unemployment rates allowed for a large middle class to grow. This thriving capitalist economy lent itself well to the average family, as William Levitt’s suburban neighborhoods grew, and families moved into homes with low mortgages and job...

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