The American River Ganges
The cartoon American River Ganges published in 1871 forms part of Thomas Nast’s most famous pieces. The political imagery that appeared in the magazine, Harper’s Weekly, portrays the dire consequences of the Roman Catholic church invasion on the US society (Pattillo 10). Precisely, the document predicted the impact of this attack associated with Irish immigrants on the US citizenry and various institutions related to public learning centers and elected government (Pattillo 10). Drenched in a fear-mongering offensive cartoon, Nast demonstrated the concern of Roman Catholicism intrusion in the public education system.
The drawing was aimed at depicting the consequences of papal interference in the US public education system by dehumanizing Catholic Bishops. Nast turned these clergymen into reptiles emerging from water headed for the NY shoreline (Robert 1). In the river are bishops dressed in their esteemed religious garment worn on Sundays or during feast days. He illustrates priests as salivating crocodiles with open jaws set to devour on school children. Nast also demonstrates the role of Protestants during this invasion with an image of a defiant Protestant minister on the shoreline trying to guard several atrocious children (Robert 1). The children are not only cowering but also praying as imminent death approaches.
Through his imagery, Nast portrayed the utopian vision held by radical r…
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