P. T. Barnum: The Greatest Showman

1764 Words8 Pages
It’s strange to think about all the things we don’t know or even about the things we think we know but, in all reality, could be dead wrong about. P. T. Barnum was a master of walking that thin tightrope. Mr. Barnum has been quoted to be “a genius of hype, a wizard of advertising, a virtuoso of promotion, sale and otherwise” (Carlson), yet Barnum remains one of the most enigmatic beings and biggest contradictions in this world today. His way of life has been shrouded in deceit and misconception, but this inscrutable man may have preferred it that way. Significantly, the most concrete fact about P.T. Barnum is the fact the he was born in Bethel, Connecticut on July 5, 1810. Following this moment in history, the mystery of “The Greatest Showman” is never quite clear. Even the poor boy’s upbringing is in the shadows. Some experts say that the Barnum family was meager in status and in wealth (McGill). Mr. Barnum himself liked to brag about his rags-to-riches story. Other experts have put forward the statement that P.T. Barnum’s father was more of a wealthy merchant, and the “rags” part of the story doesn’t quite hold up (Curry). Phineas Taylor Barnum was named after his prankster grandfather, Phineas Taylor. Of course he later shortens this to simply P.T. Barnum.…show more content…
When P.T. Barnum was two, his grandfather bequeathed his grandson five acres of land in Connecticut call Ivy Island. The small child grew up hearing and learning about his inheritance that held fortunes untold, jewels everywhere, and a paradise like no other. When little Barnum reached the age of twelve, he finally got to see his future fortune. It turned out to only be a snake-infested swamp with hornets and other annoying bugs. This joke had the intention of making the boy a real hard-nosed, blue-collar worker, but instead, it created one of the most infamous practical jokers of all time
Open Document