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Abstract

With the ending of World War II, the returning American veterans forced working women out of their war-time jobs and back to the home where they were to become views and mothers. During this time of transition, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein formed a partnership through which they would create musicals that were very different from the typical Pre-1945 musicals which featured all male casts and songs dealing with what it was like to be in war.

The new musicals featured a heroic main character that always falls for the dainty girl next door. This girl next door would always sing about her feelings and in the end become the perfect wife and mother. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s charming lyrics and sweet melodies captured the imagination and desire of peacetime women who would gladly trade their wartime work bandanas and slacks in for aprons and pearls and their own love story. The female characters in Rodger and Hammerstein’s musicals helped to create a new social role for Post-World War II women. There was a cultural and social push for marriage, suburbs and families. Post-war Women once again turned to the roles of being a wife and the Mrs. Degree of the 1950s was born.