Janus Historical Context

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Born in 1947, Beattie reached adulthood during the 1960s. Although her stories are not set in the 1960s, her characters are children of the decade and therefore impacted by the cultural and historical contexts of the Vietnam War era.

Many things happened during that tumultuous time: large numbers of young people protested the Vietnam War; many experimented with drugs and free love; and the Civil Rights struggle raged in the American South.

By the 1980s many people of that generation had entered the job market and started families. Certainly, the characters of Beattie's stories were generally white, educated people. As Thomas R. Edwards summarized in a October 12, 1986, book review from The New York Times Book Review:

[Ms. Beattie's] people suffer emotional and moral disconnection in a world that has yet been rather generous to them in material ways. They live comfortably enough in New York...

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This section contains 422 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Janus Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Janus from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.