The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, 1883
“The Colossus of Rhodes”
The Colossus of Rhodes was an enormous statue and tribute to the Greek God Helios which stood on the island of Rhodes in Greece. It was built sometime between 292 and 280 BC and stood at least 30m in height, or approximately 107 feet. At the time, it was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. When Emma Lazarus begins her poem with the line, “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame” she is trying to express the simple and modest nature of our Statue of Liberty – the monument is not meant to celebrate a conquering, war-like god; rather, it is a modest testament to peace and freedom.
The Statue of Liberty The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World
Lady Liberty The Mother of Exiles
The Statue of Liberty’s Torch
The Statue of Liberty’s torch had some practical value in its design – it functioned basically as a lighthouse for ships to navigate by. But it has even greater meaning to Americans – First, the torch is a symbol of enlightenment, providing the symbolic light needed to find truth and, as one would expect, liberty. In Emma Lazarus’ poem, she calls the torch the holder of “imprisoned lightening” - meaning, of course, that Lady Liberty has great power. Moreover, Lazarus claims, the torch “glows world-wide welcome”, signaling good will to immigrants, like a porch light left on to welcome travelers.
Brooklyn Bridge The “air-bridged” harbor is invoking an image which would have been new to the world when Emma Lazarus wrote her poem, “The New Colossus” – The Brooklyn Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge had been completed, using Andrew Carnegie’s steel, in 1883, not coincidentally, the same year Emma Lazarus penned her famous poem.
New York City and Brooklyn
Brooklyn was a huge city in its own right in the late 1880s – it had a population over 1,000,000 when it consolidated with New York in Today, Brooklyn is a borough in New York City – it is still the most populous borough to this day. To the right is an historical rendition of Brooklyn. Below, you see a picture of the New York City skyline, circa 1931.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips.
This line is a rejection of all things European: Kings, Queens, and Monarchy Militarism and Warfare for the sake of glory The controlling influence of the Church Rigid classes of people – the upper class, wealthy and elite VS. the poor, desperate lower classes
The Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
© 2023 SlidePlayer.com Inc.
All rights reserved.