Interpretation of Sources
First Source Interpretation
The cartoon called “New Deal Remedies” reveals three main figures. These include President Franklin Roosevelt, Uncle Sam, and the Congress. Each of these figures is portrayed as playing a particular role with the President playing doctor, Uncle Sam playing the role of the patient, and Congress as the caretaker. In particular, Uncle Sam represents an ailing America. The President in this case has a responsibility of relieving or curing the depression symptoms affecting America and its citizens. The basic ideological viewpoint is that President Roosevelt has administered many kinds of “treatment” to Uncle Sam such as the National Industry Recovery Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, and the Civil Works Deal. This is medicine fit enough to relieve America off its ailment.
At this time in history, President Roosevelt approved and passed many laws with an interest of mending America. Many people were skeptic about these legislations, and whether these laws could alleviate the many problems that were plaguing America. This political cartoon is in support of President Roosevelt and the policies he implemented. This is because Uncle Sam appears to be in good spirits after taking the New Deal medicine. Furthermore, the cartoon shows President Roosevelt as an understanding man because he realizes the “medicine” may not be effective and thus is prepared with more solutions.
Second Source Interpretation
Contrary to the “New Deal Remedies” cartoon, the “Rejected Poem” reveals a negative side of President Roosevelt and his administration. According to the poem, President Roosevelt is standing at the gates of Hell and cannot be accorded entrance before proving his worth. At this point, a religious point of view reveals that Hell is a place of punishment for people who lived life on earth in sin. Therefore, for President Roosevelt to be accorded access to this place, he has to prove that he indeed lived a life filled with sin when he was on earth. Additionally, this poem is in first person and represents President Roosevelt’s view on how he lived an evil life while on earth.
The poem presents a confession by President Roosevelt revealing a number of atrocities that he committed while he was in office. Some of these include closing up CIO plants. This decision is seen to have lost jobs for many Americans as well as deteriorated their health. Furthermore, the confession reveals that the president embezzled the country’s money for self-enrichment and power. Ultimately, President Roosevelt is seen to have left office having caused a catastrophe in the country and blamed the other leaders, and this is the basic ideological viewpoint.
Third Source Interpretation
The political commentary reveals a negative point of view regarding President Roosevelt’s new deal. The ideological point of view is that this policy had America in its best interests but was not effective. Rather, it seemingly solved one problem while creating another at the same time. For instance, it compares the policy to a Russian peasant who cuts a piece of cloth from one section of his garment to seal a hole in the same garment. Either way, the garment still has a whole. Before it was implemented, President Roosevelt’s new deal already had its contradictions, but the president’s administration went ahead with its plans. In a way, this political commentary takes into consideration the fact that President Roosevelt approved this policy with a view of alleviating the problems affecting America and her people. Regardless, it stresses that the policy was not credible.