The Agee Pyrex Advertisement Is a Reflection of the Social Attitudes of the Late 1940s

The Agee Pyrex advertisement was aimed towards the general public of the late 1940s, indicating a reflection of the social attitudes of that time period. The content of the advertisement expresses and clearly implies the values and principles that existed during the mid-20th century. Notable aspects include the role of the sexes in society, the prosperous post-war economic boom and the logical nature of gift. Men and women had their standard roles in society and they were clearly specified in the Agee Pyrex advertisement.

As we note in the image, the lady is in a kneeling position looking up at the gentleman who assumed a dominant and assertive stance with hands in his pant pockets. The late 1940s household structure and societal norms depicted males as the carer, provider and generally the head of the household, while the woman took up the role as the domestic caretaker of the children, the food and the housekeeping. The illustration portrayed the Pyrex dish being the gift to the woman from the man.

This indication brings us back to the male being the supplier and the woman as a housewife (Pyrex dish for cooking), reflecting the social attitudes of the late 1940s. Immediately following the Second World War, a huge economic surge to the West, most notably the United States, provided a boost in consumerism. Also known as the Golden Age of Capitalism, the States experience unusually high and sustained financial growth.

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The most significant being the attire of the lady and gentleman. We observe that their clothing is very conservative, formal and quite sensible. A chequered suit with a shirt and tie would most definitely express a common gentleman of the mid-20th century, as would the female’s dark coloured dress with pearl necklaces convey a standard lady of that era. Another aspect noted is the pipe and the cigarette. The late 1940s would demonstrate that smoking was for the people with class.

Yet we cannot help but notice that the woman has a filtered cigarette while the man puffs on an old-school pipe. This further narrows down to the late 1940s, where this would’ve been common among the public. The roles of the sexes in the advertisement are portrayed to the late 1940s in the advertisement. The post-war prosperity, positivity and sensibility is also shown in the advertisement. It is now apparent that through the visualisation and the context of the Agee Pyrex advertisement is a reflection of the social attitudes of the late 1940s.

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