Thursday, November 17, 2022

Baby Its Cold Inside

"He was nearly as close to the stove as he could get, and yet he could not persuade himself, that he felt the slightest heat, not withstanding the 'glass' door was still gently and serenely glowing. He tried to get a trifle closer to the stove, and the consequence was, he tripped the supporting poker and the stove-door tumbled to the floor. And then there was a revelation--there was nothing in the stove but a lighted tallow-candle! The poor youth blushed and felt as if lie must die with shame. But the Colonel was only disconcerted for a moment--he straightway found his voice again: What you want is the appearance of heat, not the heat itself--that's the idea. Well how to do it was the next thing. I just put my head, to work, pegged away, a couple of days, and here you are!  Stove with a candle in it and a transparent door--that's it--it has been the salvation of this family."                      
The period in the late 1800s known as the 'Gilded Age' derived its name from a satire written by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner.  It was considered the first "social protest" novel in American literature and inspired future writers to expose social and political ills that they observed in the nation.

1) What does the contradiction between the Colonel's explanation and the cold the young man feels imply about "Gilded Age?"

2) What does it mean if something is gilded?

3) How was the 'Gilded Age' a scam?  Who were the only ones feeling the real warmth?

The Political Political Poor Relation-An Unwelcome Guest

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