The historian John Kasson argues that Coney Island in its heyday was in some ways a liberating environment, but at the same time was “profoundly conformist” and “manipulative.” Based on the various accounts we have read, would you agree? How would you relate his comments to some of the other forms of mass culture and public amusement that we have studied in this part of the course?
Please answer one of the following questions in a paper of five to seven pages, addressing the assignments from “The Rise of Public Amusements through “Public Amusements: Triumph to Twilight” (on the syllabus, January 23 through February 18).
While you should show your familiarity with a range of sources and should draw upon both primary and secondary materials, I don’t expect you to refer mechanically to every single reading; rather, choose the examples that best enable you to make your argument. Because this paper will be longer and more ambitious than the first one, it will be worth 20% of your final grade. It will be due in Canvas by 2:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 5.
You might start by reviewing my comments on your last paper and by taking another quick glance at the “Notes on Writing.” Remember also to indicate which question you are writing about and to number your pages.
I added some quotes you can use from the book by Nasaw, Going Out