Our assignment was to imagine life as a child in the Cold War era and choose a decade. I decided to choose the 1950’s because its one of my favorites!
Growing up in the 1950s was relatively good. The scientific and technological advancements that currently exist did not exist then, but it was a relatively good time to live in. The world had just come out of World War II. The loss of life was alarming with the majority of the lives which were lost were men since they were the ones that went to war.
During that time, many of my friends’ families had no father or elder male siblings since some of them had fought and died in the war. Of the fathers and elder brothers who came back from the war, they seemed haunted by the outrages that they saw or committed in the war. Taking a life is not easy, and it was not glamorized as it is now in the form of action films and violent video games.
Therefore, there was a whole generation of men who were physically back from the war, but at the same time, it seemed that they had left parts of themselves on the battlefield. The economy was booming at that time after the war. There were many jobs with a number of workers, men worked hard and got paid well. Gender roles were relatively differentiated at that time. For example, my father went to work while my mother stayed at home to take care of us.
I remember the 1950s also in relation to how we dressed. Boys wore a variety of suits accompanied by suspenders and a coat sweater. For girls, there were a lot of dresses and skirts usually accompanied by a sweater or jacket. The skirts were plaid and made of wool. There were also a lot of colors employed in various types of fashion. Also, everywhere one turned there seemed to be a new addition to a family. Free time was spent playing since there were a lot of wide open spaces. Many of my friends and their families moved to the suburbs. I remember there being a number of babies everywhere. In terms of pop culture, we listened to Elvis Presley on the radio. His music appeared like a storm, and it immediately caught the attention of children and teenagers while parents seemed to ignore it. At the same time, the civil rights movement was beginning to gain momentum, and it is one of the things that one heard about everywhere. At the same time, the cold war between the US and the USSR was beginning, and there was tension since people believed it would lead to a nuclear war. Thankfully it did not. In the end, living in the 1950s came with much joy since it was a period of plenty and relative peace.
I believe that I would have been a much different person if I had lived in this era. I would most likely be addicted to my phone and filled with a sense of fatigue since I would be living in an unprecedented era of peace and plenty. I would not be able to appreciate the value of life and family. After a person has lost close friends and family in the war, that person places a higher value on human life. In conclusion, I believe that I would be a very different person had growing up in the 1950s.