A Fierce Discontent By Michael Mcgerr Essay

A Fierce Discontent By Michael Mcgerr Essay

Length: 2069 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

During the second half of the 19th century, the United States underwent its Industrial Revolution. This massive industrialization was characterized by the substitution of the agrarian style economy and the introduction of the industrial machine based economy. In the novel A Fierce Discontent, Michael McGerr discusses the negative effects of the Industrial Revolution as it examines large-scale poverty, urbanization, monopolies, and submissive gender roles that resulted from the shift of economic system. Consequently, these new deplorable conditions became the basis for the Progressive Movement. The movement was composed of middle class reformers who had grown displeased with the negative externalities that emerged from industrialization. The large inflow of people into large industrial cities seeking new opportunities cause the industrial boom consequently leading to extensive pollution and large scale urban poverty. The devastating social sacrifices taken by citizens in exchange for advancement alerted many Americans because it divided the country in many aspects between the common worker and the “upper ten.” The government 's callous behavior towards its citizens made it evident that change was required. Thus in the novel, Michael McGerr exposes the negative effects of industrialization in the United States as a detrimental factor to the rise of the Progressive Movement and its aspirations to change the new social makeup of the country.

The Progressive Movement in the United States presents the efforts of working class citizens aiming to change what they perceived as a non-functioning state. McGerr argues that Progressive Movement’s mission was to bring change the arbitrary manner in which the American government, American tra...


... middle of paper ...


...to reconstruct childhood. Together, these campaigns added up to a bold effort to remake Americans, to create new people living by new codes of conduct “(79). The culture of objectification found in the “ upper ten,” added to the pressures of the economic system ,which created a circumstance where some groups of women required demeaning jobs to ultimately survive. McGerr illustrates the stories of Carrie Nation to contrast the living conditions that allowed Sherman to behave freely, while simultaneously victimizing women like Carrie Nation. The events offer a correlation considering Sherman’s accustomed freedom allows him to accept the notion that women could be reduced to sexual objects. Therefore, McGerr utilizes the circumstances of Sherman and Carrie Nation to exemplify the circumstances that urged progressives to reestablish morality back into the United States .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Race for Rats in The Winter of Our Discontent Essay

- A Race for Rats in The Winter of Our Discontent Some runners look only to the finish line, choosing to ignore what they step on or who they pass along the way. In The Winter of Our Discontent, Steinbeck portrays the dawning of a selfish American society concerned solely with winning personal races. Set in a small New England town during the early sixties, the story focuses on the life of Ethan Allen Hawley, an intelligent man with prestigious family history who is employed as a grocer to the dismay of members of his family and the community....   [tags: Winter of Our Discontent Essays]

Better Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

The Rise of Materialism Exposed in Winter of Our Discontent Essay

- The Rise of Materialism Exposed in Winter of Our Discontent John Steinbeck showed alarm and disapproval to the rise of materialism and the post-World War 2, capitalistic morals found in America during the 1960's. These views were expressed through various characters in his novel The Winter of Our Discontent . This book dealt with the downward spiral of a good man, Ethan Allen Hawley. Pressured on all sides by influences once considered immoral, but now accepted in the 1960's, Ethan, a grocery store clerk from a family of sea captains and wealthy businessmen, "...traded a habit of conduct and attitude for comfort and dignity and a cushion of security" (257)....   [tags: Winter Our Discontent]

Free Essays
911 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Winter of Our Discontent, by John Steinbeck, 1996 ed.

- The Winter of Our Discontent, by John Steinbeck, 1996 ed. Within each action, man places his own self-interest. The morals of this are continuously questioned, and throughout The Winter of Our Discontent, Steinbeck explores both the traditional, Christian view and the natural view of the world and its corruption. He shows how Ethan Allen's life was that of a Christian, when he followed his morals, was very passive and generous, and even suffered and was a victim of betrayal. However, Steinbeck also shows that nature can take hold of a man, when Ethan's animalistic instincts and moral conflicts arise....   [tags: Steinbeck Winter Discontent]

Free Essays
1927 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Michael Pollan 's ' Dirty Deals '

- ... Pollan 's transparency in The Omnivore 's Dilemma is admirable. He documented his own relatable grapple over food and morality. His distaste for the federal regulatory regime was exceedingly detectable when he exposed them by confirming accusations that grimy slaughterhouses are operated by many unqualified workers who do not place health or humane treatment as a high priority (250). Pollan even had the benefit of viewing both angles of the argument. He was given a firsthand view on how much blood, sweat and tears goes into producing quality foods....   [tags: The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan, Food]

Better Essays
709 words (2 pages)

Michael Joseph Jackson's Life and Work Essay

- Michael Joseph Jackson, also known as the "King of Pop" was born August 29th, 1958. He was an entertainer, musician and a dancer. One of the most influential entertainers of all times. Michael was an icon of pop culture for his own style of fashion and dance moves. He became a part of the music industry at the young age of 7, Michael made his debut alongside his brothers in the band the Jackson 5. This was the start of his career, which eventually led to a solo career starting in 1971. Beginning his career at such a young age, Jackson never had the chance to live a normal childhood....   [tags: Michael Jackson, ]

Better Essays
1225 words (3.5 pages)

Technology and Morals in Isben's An Enemy of the People and Freud's Civilization and its Discontent

- Technology and Morals in Isben's An Enemy of the People and Freud's Civilization and its Discontents As technology increases do the morals of society degrade. This is a very scientific question to ask about quite an emotional subject. A scientist would ask for a set of data correlating points of increasing technology with corresponding points of moral standards. The brutal truth is that you can't know. No one can be certain about the moral standards of a people at a certain time in the past, let alone the present....   [tags: Enemy People Civilization Discontents]

Free Essays
1171 words (3.3 pages)

Moral Disintergration of America Exposed in The Winter of Our Discontent

- Moral Disintergration of America Exposed in The Winter of Our Discontent The Winter of Our Discontent The life of Ethan Allen Hawley, which had for so long held to an irrefutable ethical standard, was about to undergo an unexpected and irreversible change. Likewise he was not alone; progress was descending upon all of New Baytown like the jets which swarmed "with increasing regularity" (196) at the nearby Templeton airfield. With them was coming a new breed, more and more focused on material wealth rather than honesty and principle....   [tags: Winter Our Discontent]

Better Essays
993 words (2.8 pages)

The Roman Republic by Michael Crawford Essay

- The Roman Republic by Michael Crawford The author Michael Crawford wrote the book The Roman Republic to offer an interpretation about the Roman Empire. This was done to educate the reader about how Rome gained its greatness and became the military and cultural center of the world at that time. He wanted to inform the readers about how the Roman Empire grew from one city tribe, to dominate the Italian peninsula, and finally to conquer the Mediterranean coast. This conquest led to what was then the great Greek and Egyptian Empires....   [tags: Michael Crawford]

Free Essays
293 words (0.8 pages)

Michael Wigglesworth's Wrathful Poetry Essay

- Michael Wigglesworth's Wrathful Poetry Michael Wigglesworth was born in England in 1631. He came over to America with his family at the age of seven. He was raised in the town of New Haven, Connecticut until he went to Harvard at sixteen. He graduated in 1651 but remained a tutor for three years. He was called to the ministry and accepted a call to a church in Malden, Massachusetts, in 1655 and remained in that town the rest of his life. He had three wives and eight children. Wigglesworth was a small and extremely frail man....   [tags: Michael Wigglesworth]

Better Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

The Impact of Michael Jordan Essay

- December 21, 1891- The birth of basketball. It has been changed from simply shooting a soccer ball into a peach basket to dunking a seven pound, leather ball into an iron rim. In the early years of the game, basketball was not as popular as other sports. In the 1985 NBA draft all this would change with the emergence of a 6'6" basketball phenomenon from Wilmington, North Carolina. Although going third in the draft, he recreated the game and is known as the best player to ever touch a basketball; he is Michael Jordan....   [tags: Basketball Michael Jordan]

Better Essays
1010 words (2.9 pages)