Yoohee and Susan's online textbook
Yoohee's rubric on 15.1 speech

The Age of Uncertainty

After the World War I, people started to challenge the ideas from the Enlightment and the era before the war. People started to challenge science, literature, art, music, communication, and technology.

Science VS. Old Ideas

One of the reason why we call the time after World War I "the Age of Uncertainty," is because of the two major people who left big impacts on society. These two people thought very differently and to came up with new ideas that were against previous beliefs. These two people were Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. Einstein challenged previous scientific theories and Freud came up with new ideas in psychology.

Albert Einstein(picture on the right)
Albert Einstein, was born in Germany. During his young ages, he had hard times in academics. However, he became one of the most famous physicist. Einstein came upexternal image einstein.jpg with new ideas on space, energy, time, and matter. He also questioned the previous beliefs, specifically Newton's the laws of motion and gravity from the Age of Enlightment. By constantly asking himself questions, he came of with a theory called Theory of Relativity. It was a theory that said space and time are relative concepts rather than absolute concepts. This challenged Newton's idea since Newton said the universe is an absolute concept. After Einstien came up with this idea, people became totlly confused because people trusted the Newton's theories.

The Elegant Universe - Einstein's Theory of Relativity

Theory of Relativity

These two video clips both explain Einstein's Theory of Relativity. The first one talks about how Albert Einstein came up with ideas that contradicted with Newton's ideas. Newton said that if the sun was to be vaporized and disappeared, then the planets would immediately fly away from the sun as it disappeared. However, Einstein argued that nothing could be faster than the speed of light. He said light does not travel instantaneously. Therefore, the earth could not be released from orbit before the darkness of the sun's disappearance reached our eyes, which would take eight minutes.
In the second video clip, it is explained that the speed of light is the same. However, time and space are relative. This means that the rate of time and space are different depending on the different situations. Newton, on the other hand, said that everything was set and not relative. Thus, this caused confusions among the people.

Einstein's Theory

Sigmund Freud(down)
external image Sigmund%20Freud2.jpg Sigmund Freud was a physician born in Austria who came up with a new idea in the society. When he was taking care of patients, he mostly treated patients with psychological problems; from his own experiences, he came up with a theory of human mind. "Believed human behavior is irrational, or beyond reason. He called the irrational part of the mind unconcious."(quote from textbook pg.415) This said that unconcious is lacking awareness of one's individual thoughts and existence, and as the opposite, conscious means HAVING awareness of ones existence and thoughts. This theory became famous among people, and influenced people to step into the new era. Later in arts, music Freud's idea reoccured a lot.

Sigmund Freud on BBC in 1938

Literature During Age of Doubt

external image im.jpgPhilosophers and writiers questioned ideas that were previously accepted by the society and started to express anxieties towards the future. The uncertain world turned into a theory. Existentialism was the theory from the uncertain world. It emphasizes uniqueness of individual experience in the universe. Also human existence is unexplainable, and since individuals and people make their own descision, freedom for responsibility and our own choices stress the consequences we will get later. Existentialism was started out by Jean Paul and Karl Jaspers. Existentialists believed that there is no universal meaning to life. Friedrich Nietzhe was one of the thinkers that were influenced by existentialism. He came of with the idea of doing what you think is right. He also emphasized humans to trust their natural instincts.ulysses.jpg

Concerns Throughout Literature

After World War I, writers such as Franz Kafka, James Joyce and many other writers tried to visualize their own futures and the society's concerns towards the future. Books such as "The Trial" (1925) and "The Castle" (1926) written by Franz Kafka visualized harsh situations for the people, using the characters in the book. The people in the book weren't able to escape or understand. These writers were influenced by Freud's theory of unconsciousness. New writing techniques such as stream of consciousness came out. One of the books that used Stream of Consciousness is "Ulysses" (1922) by James Joyce. According to ( stream-of-Consciousness is a “technique that presents the thoughts and feelings of a character as they occur.”

external image jean-paul_sartre2.gifexternal image jaspers.jpg
Jean Paul Sartre & Karl Jaspers
Jean Paul Sartre Karl Jaspers

external image 549px-Nietzsche187a.jpg
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche

A Change in Society

After World War I, certain social patterns broke out of a traditional mold, and people began adopting new ideas and ways of life. This brought a new kind of individual freedom, and the most notable changes were made to women and their lives. Since many female citizens became a part of the war effort, they naturally assumed the right to vote after the war. Soon, women's suffrage became a law in many countries, including the Untied States and Germany. In addition, women's clothing and hairstyles changed dramatically, as many of them abandoned restrictive items of the Pre-World War I era. Women in the 1920's had "bobbed" hair, wore makeup, drove cars, and smoked cigarettes in public.

Flapper from the 1920's

Video of Flappers
As you can see, the woman are fairly different from the woman of the 1800's. Think of Marie Antoinette, the only visible similarity may be that they are both women. Their clothing is very different, and their behavior is also different. The music in the background you hear is jazz - a new style of music that was introduced in the 1920's.

Development of Art, Technology, and the Society

There are four main parts in rebellion in arts. It can be divided into painting, architecture, music and movie. These rebellions had occurred after the First World War painters had avoided themselves from original and classical ways. They tried not to draw common objects like landscape, portrait, or people with the nature. Instead they expressed their emotions and feelings into the painting which they kept inside of them. Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky are the two best well known painters who started the new style of the art. Similarities between two artists’ paintings are that they used distorted or exaggerated shapes and forms. For example, like Kandinsky's drawing, he used lots of geometric figures, like polygons. He sometimes tried to put songs into the painting. Last time, at my art studio, I tried to draw the song. And it was possible to express the feeling of the songs to the drawing by colors and which shapes I use. For the gloomy songs, I can use really dark colors, in the other hand; I can use bright colors for mood of happiness. Anyway, these two artists gave lots of influences to next generation of art.

Painting on the left is done by an artist named Wassily Kandinsky. As I explained before, he used lots of geometric figures and as he used really dark color, I can guess that it was drawn at the period when something bad happen. The painting on the right is done by an artist named Paul Klee. He also used lots of bold colors. And using bold colors was a really popular technique among the artists at that time. They had great eagerness to create new styles of art, the artists would often meet each other and discuss the techniques they use. Two or more artists often had same styles in their paintings. Kandinsky and Klee

The rebellion of art can be divided into three different groups: Cubism, Dadaist, and Surrealism. First Cubism started first in 1907. This art moveent had been influenced by African Art. This was the first time that African culture influenced the European culture. There were two artists in Europe who had founded this new techniques. They were Pablo Picasso from Spain and George Braque from France. Picasso had a unique style of painting which it never showed in the past. He mainly used the geometric pattern on his drawing. As you can see at the bottom of his painting, all the figures are distorted and you can not really figure out which is which, and the audience have no clue of what is going on the painting. From Picasso, artists avoided in drawing in classical ways. Do you remember the ancient paintings? The artists usually drew landscapes, portraits, or subjects from the Bible. As the First World War was over, people tried lots of new things and tried to change the way things are. Moving on, the next artist is George Braque. He was famous for drawing a still life. Still life is a drawing of objects in which the objects are previously set up by the artists. For exmaple, artist drew a table, and they set up things which they wanted to draw, and set things in a nice manner, and drew the objects. So when you compare Braque's still life drawing and the past drawing there are huge differences. Braque is also famous for using geometric figures. As you can see on the bottom, there is one painting by Braque. You can not really recognize the objects, but you can guess that there are fruits, glasses, vase, and other things.


These are the paintings from Cubism. The painting on the left is done by Pablo Picasso. He is still famous and his drawings can be included as Modern Arts. When he drew the painting, he also tried to make a new style of drawing, but he also tried to draw young people, because he thought that he could express the purity through them. The painting on the right is done by George Braque, and he was famous for the still life drawing, as mention before. As you can see, you can not really figure out the shapes. At that time period, it was after World War I had finished, therefore, the artists expressed their sadness in the painting by using the bold and dark colors. When you see the picture, it is really dark and probably makes people feel gloomy too. Picasso and Braque

After Cubism, the Dadaist movement happened in 1916 through 1924. This rebellion was more like a protest. On the painting, there is a message to people about a country. In the painting on the bottom, when you see it carefully, you can kind of absorb a message, maybe about Germany. The term of Dada came out from French, and it meant the “hobbyhorse” in French. This name was given really randomly without any specific meaning. The work of Dadaism meant to be absurd, nonsensical, and meaningless. So when you see the painting or any work from Dadaism, you will defiantly say “what!” or be thinking about the meaning, but there is no meaning. One artist, Mutt, just brought a random urinal from the toilet factory and presented as his work. There were debates held about his work, and people were actually debating if it is real art or not.


These paintings are Dadaist. The art work on the right is by the R. Mutt. Dadaist and Mutt

After the movement of Dadaist, Surrealism came in 1931. This idea was mainly come from Freud. The artist tried to make a connection between real life and the world of dream. The word Surreal meant above or beyond the reality. At that period, when people saw the painting, it made them to wonder. The most painters tried to make their painting talk and express the feelings and the unconscious part of their minds. Surrealism is quite different from Cubism. In Cubism, the artists used distorted figures, but in Surrealism, they started to draw the figures in which they can be recognizable, but made the scene of the drawing meaningless or not understandable.


Picture on the left is a picture of the Freud who gave an idea of the Surrealism in 1931. On the right there is a painting by Dali. As you can see, melting clocks are not seen in real life. It is hard to figure out or even guess what message the painting is trying to give to the audience. Maybe I can guess that the time is passing too slowly at a boring place. The painter might compare his period of time as hell. In the painting, the place seems like there is a dead animal with nothing else. Freud and Dali

Architecture also moved into a new direction. People started new styles of constructing buildings. Frank Lloyd Wright is a famous architect from America. He designed a building really simply. As in the past, people designed the buildings in a complicated way with lots of decorations. Think of palaces or churches in the past?. They are mostly filled with paintings and sculptures around them, but Frank Lloyd Wright did not follow the old ways. He got rid of all the decorations and he made the building in comfortable way. His style is called functionalism.


This picture at the left is one of a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and on the right there is a picture of Frank Lloyd Wright. He is a man on the left holding a hat. Frank Lloyd Wright

New kinds of music formed. A combination of classical and popular music formed. Composures tried lots of new styles of music. Arnold Schoenberg, one of the composures, created the 12-tone scale notes. The notes on his pieces are not related to each other but are in mathematical patterns. New music formed in America. It was known as Jazz, and Jazz was mostly developed by African Americans. First time in history for Africans to influence western cultures in music. Jazz was mainly developed in New Orleans and Chicago. The lively beat of Jazz symbolized the age of freedom. This music is still popular globally.


Pictures of Jazz Jazz

Movies came along with the foundation of Jazz. Most films were made in Hollywood. Movies right now have all the 3-D effects and great sound effects, but when movie first came out, all the screens were black and white and without any sounds in it. The movies without sounds were called the silent screens. Charlie Chaplin is one of the most famous actor in Hollywood for silent screen. Below, there is a picture of Charlie Chapin with his suits. In the 1920s the sound was added to the screens, but still black and white. As America was becoming modernized, they built more cinemas and since there were lots of cinemas, more people went to watch. So when there were lots of cinemas, 90 millions of Americans went to see the movies every week.

//Jazz clip:Dave Brubeck - Take Five//


Picture on the left is a picture of Charlie Chaplin. As you can see he was really short. He was famous for the silent screens. On the right, is a picture of the Hollywod sign in California. Until today, Hollwood is still famous for movies and famous movie stars. Charlie Chaplin and Hollywood

This is the video of silent movie and man in the screen is Charlie Chaplin. This scene was a part from the movie "Gold Rush." For more videos of silent screens or Charlie Chaplin, type "silent screen" or "charlie chaplin" on the search bar at URL

Lastly, there were lots of technological developments in America, such as medication, transportation, and communication. Industrial Revolution had a big influence on the development. After the First World War, the pace of invention increased. After the war, the medicines and treatments developed to cure all the soldiers with serious injuries. After the war, there were better transportations and communications. There were two major transportation developments, which were the development of automobiles and air planes. The number of automobiles increased, so as a result the price of cars decreased. There were lots of chances for people to buy. As the number of people with automobiles increased, people started to travel across the states, and other borders. During the war soldiers used airplanes, however, after the war, it was used by people for transportation. Charles Lindbergh was the first man who had a solo flight from New York to Paris. In America, in the past, they used to transport every single message by horse or by walking. However things were different after the radio was invented, people in America, and other countries were able to communicate over the continents, with radios. Radio was also the machine that were used during the war. Also, the radio was inexpensive, so people in America easily bought and used in households.

From the left these are the picture of airplane, radio, and automobile. Technology