List multiple ways in which one can tell that the story is written in the 1950s.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the fact that Roger wants the money for blue suede shoes is a reflection of the time period.  Intentional or not, the immediate connotation is the 1950s song by Presley in terms of "Blue Suede Shoes."  Another element of the time period would be the way in which Mrs. Jones refers to her "pocketbook."  She does not say, "wallet" or anything like that.  The "pocketbook" was a 1950s term, referring to wallet, checkbook, and amorphous enough to encompass just about anything in that realm.  Additionally, the apartment in which she takes Roger is a 1950s dwelling, right down to the "screen" that divides where she is cooking from where he is sitting.  The use of artificial partitions or room dividers like screens is reflective of the time period.  Lima beans would be another staple of food and nutrition of the context.  She does not cook him organically grown produce, but rather something more industrial, and more consumed on a larger basis.  This is also indicative of the time period of post- World War II America.  Finally, Mrs. Jones' working at a hotel beauty shop is very much in line with the 1950s, where the concept of "the hotel" was more than just a place in which people temporarily stayed.  These elements help to construct a setting of the 1950s in the short story.


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