Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Power of Muckracking????

The moral of Katherine M. Mead's tale on "Henny Jenny" in 1901 was to pin point corruption occurring in the city and the extent reformers used to fight against it. In the tale Jenny, who is a reformer, is on her way to to inform or to help the masses (workers, elites, politicians) to get out of corruption but stumbles upon other important people along the way. The gang includes a doctor, a political candidate, a city developer, a chronic kicker and Jenny herself who all agreed to take part in rousing the masses. However, the last person that they came upon was a boss. The boss in this case and to my insight is symbolic to an oppressor who refuses to let these reformers to go to the masses and tell them about the city's corruption. He may also be symbolic to Capitalism which in the early 1900's took control of the government and the economy. The reformers who may be workers, or just people who are challenging this economic system, and/or helping other workers to rise against the corruption of the system is being led by the boss who ultimately forces them to work on a machine or possibly did something worse. This is explicit at the end of the tale where the boss shows them to a machine instead of showing them the way to the masses to inform people about corruption and "threw them down". This document showed that in some ways, ideally or non-ideally muckracking by reformers helped people to fight against corruption during the industrial period.

2 Comments:

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Sean A. Inglis said...

Butm couldn't some bosses me part of of the masses as well, fighting for the was on corruption... not liking the way they have to treat thier employees?

 
At 10:52 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good discussion of the material.

This is a satire of muckraking journalism. The author is poking fun at the reformers and all of their complaining. He doesn't believe that the corrupt political machines that ran the cities would be overthrown by the investigations of the progressive reformers. The bosses would ultimately crush the reformers. It is a cynical analysis of the powerlessness of the progressive media to change the world at the time.

 

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