Sam Patch the Famous Jumper Essay - 953 Words | Bartleby

A civilized bear and an obsessed stunt man are the unlikely leads of this first novel, a picaresque romp through the American Northeast of the 1820's. It is the bear, Bruin, who relates the story, in the leisurely manner of Fielding or Thackeray. Though ""severely traumatized"" and almost killed by Davy Crockett, Bruin is still attracted to the world of men; this necessitates becoming a performer. He makes a fine start as the resident attraction in a Pittsburgh tavern, guzzling beer. His next experience, as a stage prop for the charlatan phrenologist Meleager, is less happy, but it does lead him to Sam Patch, an obscure figure in American folklore, who has just started his new career: making waterjumps from bridges. Sam jumps not for money or recognition, but to show ""some things can be done as well as others."" It is his vocation, his shtick, his link to the world. Soon Brain is jumping too, out of loyalty to Sam. The only cloud in the sky is Sam's unrequited passion for Handsome Jenny, a classy whore whom Sam tracks to New York City, where he rescues her from a fire (another dramatic jump) and from the Dead Rabbits, a colorfully vicious street gang. Jenny is slowly reconciled to Sam's jumping (Niagara Falls wins her over), and everything seems hunky-dory, when the villainous Meleager, jealous of Sam's fame, kills him by lacing his pre-jump brandy with laudanum. For all its broad canvas and abundant good cheer, this is a flaccid entertainment. Though Sam is explained (indeed, overexplained), Getz never quite gets a fix on him (unlike, say, the economy with which Doctorow impales Houdini in Ragtime). He remains a dull naif, and Jenny a shadowy femme fatale, while Bruin is trapped between his two existences, as urbane philosopher (when addressing the reader) and slobbering mute, unable to warn Sam of Meleager's hostility.

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Sam Patch Essay - 1452 Words | Bartleby

Industrialization had a major impact on American society. It was a time of growth and expansion for the nation as a whole as it brought about new ideas and resistance to reformation. In many ways industry was helpful to America’s economy, but it was also a hindrance for the vast majority of the population. People like Sam Patch, otherwise known as the working poor, did not have much opportunity to advance in society, so as time passes there’s more resistance and protest to letting the rich get richer. The messages sent from the famous jumps of Sam Patch were the beginning of a new of democracy, and a fulfillment to the true meaning of the word equality. In the early 1800s there was already a change being made to American politics. Soon after the war of 1812 it was made a point to put some restrictions on presidency because the president had too much power (Pettengill). Distributing the power evenly amongst the other branches of government paved the way to a more independent American government, and created early ideas of a two party system. These early ideas made it possible for the different views of the rich and working class to have their own set representation as needed when capitalism, or free market enterprise, and common wealth made its way into American economy. Free market enterprise was a way for the artisans, or skilled workers, to make money by producing and selling their products. As technology advanced and more inventions were being created there also came better, cheaper, and faster ways of producing mass amounts of the same products. Factories and new means of transportation made it possible for industrialization to make a rise and excel American economy. While business was great for the owners of these companies and those who could afford better living it was a completely different story for the factory workers and artisans. “New Englanders trusted the man who owned land. They feared and despised the man who did not.” (Patch 6). The artisans...

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