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Word Count: 466
The late 19 th century was era of vast change and social economic andindustrial upheaval Many of the changes during the 19th century can beseen in our 20 th century society The growth of classes created new distinctionsbetween the rich and the poor that remain with us today Especially in the1880sand 1890s it can be observed how many workplaces consumer choices recreationalpursuits and demographic patterns underwent transition or transformation Thomson 12 The remnants of the traditional society which existed priorto the Civil War era were seldom to be seem The changing role of womenthe rise in immigration the expansion into the West the growth of the middle class the growth of the urban poor the changing media and communicationall of these transformations contributed to the new society that was emerginginthe late 19th century The growing importance of the middle class isevidentin their increasing control of the countrys political socialand culturalagendas They promoted the consumerism that defines this eraand our livestoday The growth of the middle class as well as the growing separationof the middle class from the low-income manual laborers define the differences that begin to emerge at the close of the 19th century Itis this vast upheaval of the notion of classes the role of women and immigrants and the positionof workers which characterized the modernization of the19th century Itwas the changes in class work ethnicity and religionin America whichsparked transformations in the cultural and social pursuits One endeavor which can be seen as a result of this mass upheaval in rolesandposition is the rise and popularity of freak shows The role of freaks inthe entertainment of each class and culture of Americans is seen in theliteratureof the era It often seems shocking that the conservative culture of VictorianAmerica would enable freak shows to be popularized Howeverwhen examiningthese literary works and taking into account the enormous change and modernizationof the era freak shows which focus on the differencesin the human bodyand culture are a
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