Analysis Of The Book ' Sam Patch The Famous Jumper ' Essay

1250 Words Nov 5th, 2015 5 Pages
In Paul Johnson’s perceptive book, Sam Patch the Famous Jumper, Johnson casts a new light on aspects of American society that may have been undervalued. Sam, a working-class spinner, comes up with his own way to combat the growing wave of industrialization and suburbanization in America; stunt jumping off waterfalls. Sam is motivated by a number of different things, including his desire for the working-class to be given more credit and more respect than they have traditionally received in the past, which illustrates one of the novel’s most important themes, the conflict between the lower and upper socioeconomic classes in the United States. In addition to social conflict, the novel also addresses the idea of the rise of self-made fame, which later developed into the classic “American Dream” philosophy. Much like the president at the time, Andrew Jackson, Sam Patch forges his own legacy and fame in an attempt to overcome the boundaries that his social class places on his life. One last major theme in this novel is that of the decline of the patriarchy simultaneously occurring alongside the rise of wage labor. The author mentions several times how Sam’s father loses his job as a by-product of industrialization, and how the availability of jobs to women and children has caused a decline in the power that men have had in domestic situations, especially when they move to Pawtucket. This diluting of the skilled workforce began to create a more upper-class central society, as…

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