A Vital Decade.
Despite the Depression the 1930s were a rich and vibrant decade for the arts. They were certainly a golden age for American letters, as writers produced works that have since been acknowledged as classics: William Faulkner's Light in August (1932) and Absalom, Absalom! (1936), Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (1939), John Dos Passos's U.S.A. trilogy (1938), James T. Farrell's Studs Lonigan trilogy (1932-1935), F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night (1934), and Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra (1931). It was a revolutionary decade in American dance, as Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey choreographed their first fusions of ballet, expressionism, and jazz—a synthesis that defined the term modern dance. Artists of the decade produced vibrant portraits of the rural countryside, politically charged murals, and the first explorations of Abstract Expressionism. Hollywood developed the "American Style" of filmmaking, a type of seamless narrative that lifted the burden of the Depression for millions. Musicologists such as Alan Lomax and Howard Odum introduced blues and country music to a broad audience for the first time; and swing jazz swept the nation, providing a lively soundtrack that belied the miseries of the time.
(The entire section is 2433 words.)
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