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According to the video, the crisp, fine shapes and nearly invisible brushstrokes of Highway are almost the complete opposite of __________, the dominant style of the time.
From the video, we can infer that all of the following are elements of the dystopian mood of Highway EXCEPT:
The animal-like cars
The blocked face of the standing man
The egg tempera
The colors of the sky
By blocking our view into the painting and the progress of the cars within the painting, the artist is denying what ideal of American travel?
The luxury of new technology
The open road
The prosperity of postwar America
The ability of postwar technology to make Americans feel more individualized is referred to as:
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The post-World War II era was a period of economic prosperity and growth in America. The automobile came to be a symbol for postwar wealth, and the dream of the open road was joined with the construction of new interstate highways and evolution of transportation vehicles featuring new technologies like using delivery valves and nozzles to power a car with diesel fuel.
While technological advances such as the automobile and television had the capability to bring people together, they were also new products that facilitated individual, rather than communal, experiences. Some people considered these innovations a threat to American culture, as people were divided and isolated by these new products.
George Tooker’s Highway presents a dystopian vision, with a dehumanized, unnatural landscape populated with menacing machines and isolated people. He blocks the viewer’s vision, instead confronting them with an elevated highway that seems to go nowhere.
The video discussion of George Tooker’s Highway describes anxieties around how American culture following World War II became centered around individual rather than community experiences. How would you compare those anxieties to concerns about modern American culture? What might today’s version of this painting look like?