The Fifties was a time of the nuclear family, “I Love Lucy”, and things like the hula hoop. People dressed the same, talked the same, and acted the same. It was also a time of the Red Scare and Korean War. The government used fear tactics and were mostly unquestioned. When addressing the Fifties more often then not will you hear that it was a time of Conformity. The majority of the fifties was a time of cultural and social conformity with small deviants popping up every once in a while.
The majority of people view the fifties as an idyllic time of conformity. Families played their role in providing for their country and everyone was on the look out for a communist. When a person swayed from the norm they were looked at as a threat. Everyone was on the look out for a communist and the bomb could drop at any minute, and the effect of this was mass conformity. No one wanted to be different because if they did they risked losing friends and being accused of being an enemy of the country. The source of the conformity and the fear came from the government trying to rush the American people into the cold war and against the communists is portrayed in the words of J. Edgar Hoover, “Every American Communist was, and is, potentially an espionage agent of the Soviet Union.”
The typical family in the fifties is usually known as a nuclear family or traditional family. A nuclear family is a family consisting of a father, a mother, and two biological siblings. The father would go to work everyday and come home to his dinner on the table his wife waiting for him and his two kids off doing their homework or playing. He would be dressed in a gray flannel suit with his wife wearing a dress tight in the waist and high heels. The son would be dressed in blue jeans and a white t-shirt with his daughter in a poodle skirt and wearing her high school jacket. The kids would be listening to this new music called rock-n-roll while their parents were skeptical about it.
On the mantle of the Wingfield apartment rests a faded photograph of the father who deserted his family because he "fell in love with long distances." Tennessee Williams' plat entitled The Glass Menagerie reveals the tragedy of a family whose members all along to escape their miserable lives in the same way that their father escaped his predicament. The daughters name is Laura, she was a little ...
Not everybody conformed to the norm; there were deviants who broke away from the path. There were groups of people who, while straying from what most people did, still conformed to their own style, greasers and surfers deviated from the normal course. There was a communist party in the 1950’s as well examples in the media that strayed from common themes. The black rights movements were getting bigger and bigger.
The general music in the fifties was rock-n-roll, with artists like Bill Haley &the Comets, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Barry being popular. This was the music of the youth with thousands flocking to see Elvis Presley concerts, and the older generation. Parents wouldn’t allow their kids to go and see the concert for fear that they would somehow be corrupted by this new vivacious music. Having sprung forth from rockabilly, rock-n-roll took hold of the nation’s youth and helped bring on the Cultural Revolution that was soon to come in the fifties.
The civil rights movement may not have climaxed in the fifties but it was certainly gaining speed. The education system was desegregated in the case of Brown v. the Board of Education, black athletes started to become accepted into major sports such as Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King Jr. was emerging as a spokesman for African Americans. There was resistance to these happenings for example in the town of Little Rock. The Klu Klux Klan was also at its biggest during the fifties but civil rights were gaining importance as a political issue.