The History Of New Historicism In Iron Jawed Angels

1635 Words 7 Pages
Acclaimed historian Margaret Macmillan once stated “We can learn from history, but we can also deceive ourselves when we selectively take evidence from the past to justify what we have already made up our minds to do.” Many literary pieces have carefully chosen which parts of history they want to emphasize and diminish to fit a specific agenda, altering the modern day understanding of the truth. The literary theory of New Historicism is based off this concept, and its goal is to understand the relationship between history, literature, and cultural context. Feminism is a movement advocating for women’s rights and gender equality, and has not been unaffected by New Historicism. Many do not understand the roots of the Feminist movement because …show more content…
From timeline to costume, the film rarely deviated from what occurred in the early 1900’s. One of the most notable costuming similarities in the film is Inez Milholland riding in on a white horse for the suffrage parade, which is extremely similar to existing pictures of her (Taylor). The film also depicts the picketing scene very well: the phrasing of their signs perfectly imitated the real ones, and even the picketers demeanour is the exact same- Paul’s group was named “Silent Sentinels” accordingly (PBS). The most significant and jaw-dropping scene though, was the hunger strike during Paul’s imprisonment. This scene illustrates the awful conditions the protestors were put through during their time, and Paul went on a hunger strike for her cause, explaining that “The hunger strike was a tradition in Old Ireland. You starve yourself on someone's doorstep until restitution is made. And justice is done” (Von Garnier). On of the unfortunate differences exists in this scene as well, and it is the reason the women went on strike. The films depicts it as furthering her protest for women’s suffrage while she was in prison, but she was really protesting the conditions of the prison. Paul claimed that she “would not touch a morsel until she and her companions received the same treatment as the seventeen murderers who have the privilege of special food, air, exercise, and the newspapers” (The New York Times). Although seemingly insignificant, this difference erases a part of history and true

Related Documents