The Significance Of Ten Days In A Mad-House By Nellie Bly

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Nellie Bly was the penname of Elizabeth Cochran Seaman (1864-1922), a trailblazer in the field of investigative journalism, not just for the fact she was a woman but due to the nature of her work. Bly was known for breaking down gender barriers and taking on daring assignments. Her most famous work was “Ten Days in a Mad-House," published in 1887, her full account of how she went undercover to reveal the harrowing conditions and abuse facing the patients of the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island in New York City. Her work inspired significant reforms in the treatment of mentally ill patients and helped to advance the women’s rights movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While Nellie Bly’s groundbreaking work “Ten Days in a Mad-House" was considered atypical for the 19th century, it remains significant and relevant due to the impact her work has had on social reform efforts, journalism, and the continuing struggle for the rights of the mentally ill. …show more content…

In addition to bringing attention to this mistreatment and the exigency for mental health care reform to light, she also helped to introduce a new form of investigative journalism into the mainstream: going undercover to expose social problems. This approach was similar to other journalists of the time, like Jacob Riis who combined photography and journalism to uncover the appalling living conditions inside of low-income tenements and shocking Americans with his work. Both Bly and Riis used their journalistic skills to shine a light on the injustices faced by marginalized groups and to advocate for social and institutional

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