Friday, July 8, 2011

Molly Maguires

So, I was curious about the Molly Maguires after discussing them in class, and it turns out that Mr. Tantillo was right! According one website, the real Molly Maguire was a real person! The real Molly Maguire was an Irish widow who protested against thieving landlords in the 1840's. She led the "Anti-landlord Agitators" and she and her followers would fist fight with the corrupt landlords to "maintain their land and their dignity". Eventually, the Agitators grew famous in Ireland and adopted the name "Molly Maguires" after their infamous leader. The Irish immigration to America brought over Molly Maguires who became active again to fight for Irish coal miner's rights.
Here's the source if anybody's interested:


Ricky said...

I don't know if they went to extreme because of their failure in the strike before. If so, then their action is understandable. Since the movie didn't show any excuse for their actions, I think the identity of "the Molly Maguires" is really controversial.

Elissa Ye said...

I think your version of the origin of "Molly Maguire" is more acceptable - I am not sure if this is an explanation made up to display a negative public image of the Mollies, but one theory proposed by Kevin Kenny says that the name traces to the practice of men dressing up as women and blackening their faces, alluding to the practice of mummery, as a symbol of "upholding an alternative social order."

Sounds quite absurd to me. :/

While the movie evokes sympathy towards the Molly Maguires, as freedom fighters for equality against the inhuman law and order(with rather communist ideals, I think, especially the scene where the Mollies scattered the goods of the rich to the common people). However, I think it is only more recently that the actions of the Molly Maguires are cast into this new light. For a long time, the Molly Maguires were regarded as criminals and terrorists, with their intents considered to be irrational and ridiculed.

For anyone's interest, I found an article written about 20 years after the Molly Maguires(around the 1890s and 1900s I suppose), portraying the extent to which Molly Maguires were negatively conceived.


Jason B. said...

Of course Mr. Tantillo was right about the real Molly Maguire. He is always right, no matter what.

Ricky said...

If this movie was showed to display the negative image of the Mollies, then it is totally understandable.