1920s boom time high School Instructional Performance Task Module



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Mid-Range Response


Marsha and the Flappers

Something changed. No one knows how and no one why but we do know is that it had happened. In the early 20th century It was the men who went to work, did the manual labor around the house, and were the ones who tried to seek a partner to become sexually satisfied, that all changed. When the 1920’s had come around so did woman who were called flappers. Flappers were woman who went against the social norm. These women were the ones going to work, doing the manual labor, and went out to become sexually satisfied by flirting and showing excessive amounts of skin. Marcia is a reflection of the 1920’s new woman as she possess the qualities as well as being a reflection of the Jazz music in the 1920’s.


The story Head and Shoulders is about two people, Horace and Marcia. They each take on the opposite sex role. Horace is the head because he is smart but also really shy and awkward while Marcia is the shoulders because she is bold about her sexuality which was uncommon for woman of this time period. That is why she personifies the New Woman of the 1920’s; she is bold about her sexuality and is not afraid to let other people know. Even when Horace acts shy and uncomfortable in situations she always seems to find a way to flirt and press her sexuality on him. That’s is exactly how flappers are described in an article called The New Woman where it says, “New feminists celebrated female sexuality and asserted women’s sex rights.” (Lavender2) Even if it was seen as evil or wrong they did it anyways.
Most people didn’t approve because it was seen as evil, just like Jazz music when it was first invented. It was seen as an insult to art and an abomination because it went against the old ways, such as the New Woman. Many people did not agree with the flapper life style because they thought it wasn’t the way woman should act. In the story Marsha’s character in that time period is seen as heterogeneous and wrong, which is how Jazz is described in an article called Jazz the Devils Music. In it, it says, “Jazz was different because it broke rules-musical and social.”(Carter1)
In the story Head and Shoulders Marcia is a reflection of the New Woman and of Jazz in 1920. Her idiosyncrasy of being loose and more open made her play the role of the man. Whether she was frowned upon or not she is still the embodiment of the New Woman and Jazz.

The writer introduces the claim by supporting a claim with relevant and sufficient facts and details from the non-fiction and fictional text. However, the writing would be more compelling if the two sources were explicitly named and the focus remained on “The New Woman” as opposed to “The Jazz Age”, which is better matched with the second fictional piece, “Spanish Blood”.

The essay develops the claim by supplying relevant evidence from the fictional source (“Head and Shoulders”): “Horace is the head because he is smart but also really shy and awkward while Marcia is the shoulders because she is bold about her sexuality which was uncommon for woman of this time period” and “she always seems to find a way to flirt and press her sexuality on him. That’s exactly how flappers are described in the article…” However, the argument could have been more subtly presented. Adding sufficient variety to sentence length and structure instead of a steady procession of subject/verb, subject/verb would also strengthen the student’s written performance.



The writer makes minimal use of words, phrases, and/or clauses to link major sections of the writing (“In the story” and “In it,”). In order to enhance sentence variety, using transition words and phrases would improve the overall flow and effectiveness of the argument.
The unnatural, forced use of vocabulary words (“heterogeneous” in the previous paragraph and “idiosyncrasy” in the final paragraph) detracts from the writer’s ability to demonstrate a command of standard English conventions/employ language and tone. While these words do not interfere with understanding, they diminish the strength of the writing piece by causing the reader to pause and question the choice of wording.








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