Dawn Powell Essay Research Paper The story

Dawn Powell Essay, Research Paper

The story ?The Happy Island? has a very interesting author

who led a very interesting life, Dawn Powell. The story took place in the

1930?s which was an extremely important decade and it had a lot to do with

advances in history. In order to gain a better understanding of the book, information about the author, the time period and about the actual book, must be talked about. The Happy Island depicted the 1930?s quite well, and

the story compared a little with the author?s life.

Dawn Powell led a very dramatic and almost story-like life.

She was born in 1896, in Mount Gilead, Ohio; she was a middle child of

three girls. When she was seven her mother died having an abortion. Her

father was an alcoholic salesman, who was never home, and eventually left

the family with their wicked stepmother. Her stepmother forced Phyllis, one

of Powell?s sisters, to change the outfit of a premature newborns clothes

with the dress of Phyllises only doll. At the age of 13 Powell was already

educated but forbidden to attend High school by her stepmother so she ran

away from home to live with her aunt Orpha May, in Shelby, Ohio. She

sweet talked herself into a work-study scholarship at Lake Erie College for

women, then she moved to Manhattan in 1918. Eventually Powell met

Joseph Goushan got married and moved to Greenwich Village. Her son

Joseph Goushan jr. ?jojo? was thought to be retarded, but actually had

Autism which had not been identified in that time period. After she became well known and friends with other writers like Hemingway stardom got to her head like when she said that she wrote, “because there is no one to talk

to.? She was brutal in exposing posers and had a nasty wit, but she stayed

nice and loyal to her family and was never a snob. Powell wrote thirteen novels and a couple of plays. Some of her novels included, Turn the Magic Wheel, Time to be Born, The Locusts Have No King, and The Happy Island, in which some were written during the Depression. Powell wrote steadily and mostly wrote comedies

Many events occurred in the 1930?s. In October 1929 a sharp drop in

stock markets began the Great Depression, production and employment

declined rapidly in the United States until the middle of the 1930?s in which

it recovered somewhat and then dropped again. At one point about 1/3 of

Americans were out of work. In the late 1930?s and the beginning of

1940?s war frenzy broke out and Americans began production weapons and

other things for World War 2 and ended the Great Depression. On

September 1, 1939, the German army invaded Poland. Two days later Great

Britain and France, Poland?s allies responded by declaring war on Germany, and started WW2. In 1939 Hitler released his book ?Mein Kampf? meaning

?My Struggle?.

Entertainment was a big industry in the 1930?s. Walt Disney first came up with his character Mickey Mouse along with the beginning of

the Mickey Mouse Club, which had members like Franklin D. Roosevelt and

King George V of England. Around 1931 the first color cartoon of Mickey

Mouse was released and later won an academy award in 1932. Walt

Disney?s biggest movies were made in the 1930?s like Snow White, Bambi,

Pinocchio, and Fantasia. After Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 Walt Disney

lost his funding from overseas and had some hard times but later got back up

on his feet and started making movies again. In 1938 ?The Adventures of

Robin Hood? one of the greatest movies of all times, was made by Frich

Wolfgang Kiorngold. Swing Dancing was big in the 1930?s everybody got

into it, mainly because it was something fun to do during the depression. The

first drive in Movie Theater was also introduced in the 1930?s. Basically

many developments in entertainment occurred during the depression to try

and get out of the depression.

The 1930s introduced a lot of medical advances due to the

depression and the second world war. German and French scientists showed

that sulfonamide was good in treating streptococcal bacteria infection, this

led to the first of the wonder drugs, the sulfonamide antibiotics. In 1938

Howard Florey and Ernst Chain purified penicillin. Growing viruses in

laboratory?s, in the 1930?s, led to vaccines against viral disease, like the

vaccine for Yellow Fever. Surgery in the 1930?s was advanced with the

Heart Lung Machine, which made it possible to stop and restart the heart

during surgery. Endoscopes, which were small fiber-optic instruments, led to

the new field of minimally invasive surgery, with this new technology it was

possible to remove a diseased appendix and other organs. Transfusions of

blood and other types of transfusions went into effect in the 1930?s. Studies

in mental illnesses came up with Lobotomies in 1935 and Electroconvulsive therapy in1938.

The Happy Island was a story that focused on the music

and entertainment of the 1930?s. The story is mainly about a man, Jefferson

Abbot, who goes to New York in search of his childhood love, Prudence

Bly. Prudence was a nightclub singer in New York. Jefferson was

introduced, along his way to Prudence?s nightclub friends. Jefferson is

overwhelmed with the lifestyle of New York nightlife and moves back to

Ohio and hopes that Prudence would stay with him there.

This Story reflects on Dawn Powell?s life in a few aspects, for example, Jefferson left Ohio to go to New York in hopes of expanding his horizons. Dawn Powell also left Ohio to expand her horizons and ended up in New York. Both Jefferson and Powell fell in love in New York. Jefferson was introduced to friend?s influential in the entertainment business. Because Powell was an author she made many friends influential in the writing business.

Dawn Powell was a good author and led a good life. The 1930?s had a lot of events that occurred that influenced history for the better and for the worse. ?The Happy Island? was a good book that depicted the time period it was written in very well.


The Happy Island by Dawn Powell




Encarta Learning Zone Encyclopedia – Medicine


waltdisney.com-walt?s story



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