Uncle Sams Thanksgiving Dinner Analysis

1167 Words5 Pages
Although sharing identical titles and depicting presumably interchangeable scenes, Thomas Nast and G.F. Keller’s political cartoons, Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner, illustrate the East and West coast’s contradictory opinions toward the prevailing issues of immigration and its relation to their differing views of the immigrants’ social status, specifically in regards to the Chinese. Written four years after the conclusion of the Civil War and heavily published in the prominent political magazine, Harper’s Weekly, Nast’s cartoon portrays a simple binary of race consisting of an in-group and out-group, with the Chinese as members of the out-group, in reality but incorporated into the national body in Nast’s idealistic depiction. In contrast, Keller’s image, published eight years later in…show more content…
Contrary to Frederick Douglass’s argument in his speech, Oration, in which he criticizes America for their false enforcement of “the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice embodied in the Declaration of Independence,” (cite) Nast’s image encompasses his belief in the nation’s potential to fulfill its promise of equality, a notion he asserts should be extended to include all immigrants, including Chinese and African Americans. This notion is especially observed through the image’s emphasis on the celebration of the 15th Amendment, which is written on the sash located at the top center of the image. Passed in 1869, the same year that Nast’s political cartoon was published, the 15th Amendment was a policy that substantially helped
Open Document