URBANIZATION AND ISOLATION IN THE 20th CENTURY
– In an essay of 3-4 pages, address the following
In the late 19th century, America’s collective psychology changed and it found itself slowly leaving
the bucolic countryside, abandoning the farm and heading to the city. Once there, America became a
different kind of country than the one envisioned by the Founding Fathers: more resilient perhaps, but
also more jaded. In the first part of your essay, explain this change, then address the next part.
Life in the city, despite its overcrowding, increasingly led to the isolation of its inhabitants, an emotion
that has been explored over the past 100 years by writers, artists, poets and filmmakers. And yet, this
isolating quality persists. Is it because our technological advances promote isolation by serving
individual tastes and desires? Or is it perhaps the case that modern American’s prefer isolation? That
we have sought out products and devices that increase our sense of individuality, and consequently our
Your essay must contain references to the material provided in this presentation.
Essay due no later than the last day of classes.
35% of the grade will be based on how clearly you explain the development of American culture from an agrarian to an
urban one, and the impact on our collective psyche (that is, our self-mage and relationship to others)
35% of the grade will be based on your use of relevant specific references to the material provided and how detailed your
analysis of them are. 4 references minimum.
25% of the grade will be based on how clearly you make the connection (or disprove the connection) between technology
and the American desire for isolation.
5% of the grade will be based on the clarity of your essay style.