Good Society In The Gilded Age Thesis Example
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In the community today, the poor are being trampled on by the rich every now and then, and this is because of their inability to fend for themselves in the society. As a result, the poor are susceptible to the pains of the world such as hunger and disease. Considering Josiah Flynt himself, his life was not really a cakewalk but instead, he went through a vagabond life himself and this makes him better suited to explain the life of the tramps during that specific timeline, the gilded period in the United States of America. Litwack on the other hand also tries to bring out the life of the Black Americans from the South back then in the history if Americans on the basis of segregation and how it affected their general lives. The two writers, Josiah Flynt and Litwack Leon, all try to capture the American society during the gilded age.
The perspective that Josiah Flynt tries to openly share with others is the fact that the tramp children roaming the street were vulnerable to the tramp adults who had vicious thoughts of selling the children by seducing them with adventure and money. During the gilded age, the street was a difficult and at the same time dangerous place to live. The tramp children that lived there however were seized with the strong desires to travel across the world, but the desire is usually cooled down after a few weeks and they return home just like “Jamie the kid” who was with the desire to go across the world. This gives the general impression that the society favored those that travelled across the cities and even the world.
“Tramping with tramps” was indeed Josiah Flynt’s way of describing vividly the picture of the life that the tramp children were going through in the streets of America. The society as a whole disregarded these children living in the streets. However, the tramp children faced lots of exploitation in the street and this is done by the older tramps. In such cases, the street children are seduced with sweet words and stories of travels from one town to another and in the end, the child is subdued and exploited with regards to borrowing in the towns on behalf of the older tramps that in turn punish the children when they do not perform as expected. The American society is therefore one that can be referred to as “survival for the fittest” where the tramps in the street used severe means to survive including the use of the younger tramps to get money and food.
The vivid image that Josiah was trying to bring out is the social classes that existed back then. The society was indeed divided into two distinct groups that included the upper and the lower class. The two groups minded less about each other and as a result, there was less contact. The rich never associated with the poor whom he looked down upon like filth upon a cloth. The poor on the other hand were miserable going through the hardships in life. The gypsies and the ragamuffin in the street are just examples of the painful life they were going through in the society. The condition the family of the gypsy was in was enough to give the pains in their lives, hunger. Generally, the poor tramps in the street underwent hell in their lives.
Leon Litwack is another writer that tried to capture the society as it was in the past. In his own regard, Litwack mainly captured the segregation that existed between the black Southern Americans and the white Americans. Despite the fact that he talks about the segregation of the black southerners, he does not really give the chronology of how the segregation comes about. Instead, he provides a vivid describes events to the reader, events that eventually led to the submission of the blacks to the white supremacy. The society then can be defined as an unfair society to the blacks. These were the times that the defiance of a black man would eventually lead to his death just like Litwack describes in the chapter “Baptisms”. From this account, he describes that the white man and woman wield power over the black natives implying that the society was indeed biased, and in this case, against the black man.
The society can be further described as claustrophobic with total regards to the life that the blacks lived back then. This is because their submission to the white man was followed by their mistreatment and malicious treatment. the segregations of the black southerners was indeed of terror to them given that the white man could end the life of a black man claiming that he or she was disobedient. The society that the black southerners lived in was actually a stereotypic society that generally portrayed the black man as being ignorant and could not undergo social mobility. If the black man indeed was to adhere to his ignorance and docility like the white men wished, the blacks would then have proved their inferiority to the white man. However, the white man feared the opposite where the black man learns and cultivates the Western culture, educate himself and acquire the middle-class label. This was majorly because the white man would view the blacks as a big threat to the status quo.
Without fail, Litwack majors that the society was indeed a violent one, and the violence was directed towards the black Southerners. This is because the white man describes the black man similar to an animal and cannot be equal to them, being the civilized ones in the society. The blacks lived in a society where the mere desire that a white person conjures up can affect the life of a black man. Indeed, the black man lived in a practical war zone. For instance, a white policeman wished to know the name of a young black man but was unable to spell it. The black boy offers to spell it but instead was arrested and charged $25 for insulting the white policeman. Failure to pay the fine resulted in the boy’s disappearance and this is a mere depiction of the fear that the white man instilled upon the black southerners.
The society during the time of these two writers was merely a picture of the society where Josiah focuses his energy upon the pains that the tramps in the street were going through. On the other hand, Litwack was able to capture the society where the black man was captive of his own inferiority towards the white man. In these two societies, those on the receiving end of the pains and sufferings indeed suffer a great deal and some end up losing lives due to the over-exploitation by the superiors. The black man was portrayed as being inferior and ignorant compared to the white man. As a result of this, the white man caused major sufferings to the black men in the South. Also, the tramps in the streets were going through a difficult time, since they were at the lower end of the chain in the society where everything was merely a struggle in a bid to survive. In a nutshell, the society in the past, gilded age, was vastly of painful existence, not only for the black southerners, but also for those in the streets.
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