Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jack The Ripper in the Gilded Age AND Secondary Source

While Jack the Ripper presents a darker, more violent side of like in the 1890s (before and after), the story coincides with Gilded Age concerns about societal excess and in some way societal excess is to be blamed for the violent and unruly side of certain parts of society in the 1890s. This is because during this time in England, there is a massive population of native British people as well as immigrants and people from the neighboring countries. The city itself is a large city with a lot of infrastructure by means of factories and large building that house the masses of people. Social class also reflects a societal excess ion that there is an elite class, a middle class and a poor class, but the middle and poor class make up a larger percentage of the population. With these two examples of societal excess, they go on to create the problems societal excess harbors. That is crime, underemployment, disease and in even worse, like with Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper is the a serial killer like figure who murdered multiple women in London. As From Hell explains, he was one of the best doctors in London and the Queen's surgeon who obviously had some mental issues which got worse once he was given the job of getting rid of 4 prostitutes who were attempting to blackmail the prince. The main issues of Jack the Ripper which are the same as issues in the 1890s are the fact that the poor working population was so huge that most women turned to prostitution as a way to make their living, but barely get by. Life for these people was very difficult and for the most part, they drank which made things even worse for them. In the 1890s this same problem occurred because of all the people crammed into tiny living spaces in cities and with women prostituting and even men engaging in sexual activities with other men, this also spread diseases. Crime was a huge problem because the people who didn't have anything turned to stealing because that's all they could do to get by. Homicide also occurred more often than today because of influences like alcohol as well as people stealing and in this case the murdering of prostitutes. While these problems occurred in the story and England, the same problems were occurring in the United States and in some ways even more so because of the ethnic differences in the big cities. Crime occurred in much the same ways and the cities were overpopulated as in London. Overall Jack the Ripper is an example of the sort of things that went on the 1890s, but to a more violent extreme. The rise in population and underemployment lead to crime and other societal problems which were going on in the story as well as in real 1890s life.

This is a picture of the Seminole Hotel in Winter Park, FL. This photo and others found in the Rollins Digital Archives are one of my secondary sources in that photos of actual historical sites like this give me more of an idea what the buildings really looked like and are a visual instead of just reading about them. I will be able to use this photo and other in the archive to add visuals to my research paper so a better picture can be drawn for the reader who is reading about the different historical sites I will be discussing. This specific picture is the Seminole Hotel which was built around the 1890s so it is in the time frame and is a good representation of what the buildings of that age looked like.

No comments:

Post a Comment