The age of anxiety
During the end of the 19th century, the new belief was that material gain meant spiritual loss.
The mood of the country is disillusioned by the First World War: infact during the 1920s only privileged classes enjoyed the comfort.
When the war ended, some soldiers started the search of pleasure, other felt the sense of guilt for the horrors of war and had forgotten the purpose of war.
The dissolution of the Empire into the Commonwealth caused a sense of frustration which led to idea of white superiority.
At that time not even the science and religion seemed to offer security.
Scientists and philosophers abandoned the old giving rise to new views of man and the universe.
Freud introduced new ideas in his essay The Interpretation of Dreams.
According to him, the behaviour is influenced by the unconscious, and the fact that the man made actions depending on irrational forces caused many disturbances.
He is interested in the questions of "libido", which manifested in the Oedipus phase where the child sees the father as the rival for his mother's affections.
The relationship between parents and children changed: according to Freud early developments were the most important.
The relationship between the sexes changed thanks to the struggles of the movement for women’s suffrage.
Einstein discovered the relativity: this theory discarded the concepts of time and space.
The idea of Time was questioned by the philosophers William James and Bergson.
- According to James our mind records every experiences as a continuous flow of “the already” into “the not yet”.
- According to Bergson there are two kinds of time:
Historical time: which is external, linear and measured by the hands of a clock.
Psychological time: which is internal, subjective and measured by the relative emotional intensity of a moment. He said that a feeling could be measured in terms of the number of memories and perception linked to it.