Homework Discussion For History Class

Homework Discussion For History Class

Discussion 1: Analyze visual primary sources: “The Octopus” cartoons by G. Frederick Keller and George

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1. Post an analytical observation, Titled “GROUP 1,” to Discussion 1 about the OCTOPUS image dated 1882.

more instructions from professor:


First you are to submit ONE analytical observation (one sentence) about the image. No more. One thing you see in the visual. Why just one? Because there has to be enough to observe that each person can add to the observations about the same visual. I see from the submission so far, that calling them analytical observations, confused you. Let me rephrase: observe and notice details of the picture  with an “eagle eye”.

Next, after reading observations from others in your group, try to post one new observation no one has made before. This forces you to read other observations, look again at the image, and see if you can find one more detail to comment about.

if you did not already post, I urge you to post your first observation,then read other posts. Focusing on just what people observed by looking at the image, not the ideas about the meaning of the pictures. Then post a NEW observation, some detail no one has mentioned before. Remember, just one sentence each post!

example from my classmates:

1/ The tentacles of the octopus represent the strains that the railroad monopoly has around the working class citizens.  The upper class is almost protected by the monster while they sit unbothered.  Each tentacle has grip of the different industries that are affected and are labeled as “mining”, ‘farming”, and “lumber” because the construction of the railroads eventually interferes with their businesses.

2/  When looking at this image it seems that the railroad monopoly being represented by an octopus is swallowing/strangling  everything around it.

3/  The image shows how being in control of the railroad system granted protection over the upper class citizens and rich. The octopus (control of the rail road) has a protective tentacle around the “elite” neighborhood and money, while showing a defensive stance against the lower class citizens and workers. This shows how the Southern pacific railway was built and used, despite disputes from farmers and protesters; to make the rich man, richer.

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