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“Political Enchantment”

Topic:
Reid and Phelps
Source:
Harper's Weekly
Cartoonist:
Thomas Nast
Date:
August 2, 1884, p. 505
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >
In this cartoon, artist Thomas Nast continues the theme of linking supporters of Republican presidential nominee James Blaine, particularly New York Tribune editor Whitelaw Reid (right) and Congressman William Walter Phelps (left), with aesthetic effeminacy. (For a more complete discussion, see "Sound Political Arguments.") Flowers, candies, and plumes abound in this setting of "Political Enchantment," which reflects the cauldron scene of the three witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Blaine himself (center) contributes soap to the magical brew of his sugar-coated letter of acceptance, hoping it will cleanse his record of scandals. Phelps daintily adds a mosquito ("skeeter"), as Reid dumps in his "broken candy" editorials.
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >

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