the convict’s garb and the social wrath

< Previous | Next >

meramli

Senior Member
turkish
Emma Goldman-Anarchism and Other Essays

The history of human growth and development is at the same time the history of the terrible struggle of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn. In its tenacious hold on tradition, the Old has never hesitated to make use of the foulest and cruelest means to stay the advent of the New, in whatever form or period the latter may have asserted itself. Nor need we retrace our steps into the distant past to realize the enormity of opposition, difficulties, and hardships placed in the path of every progressive idea.The rack, the thumbscrew, and the knout are still with us; so are the convict’s garb and the social wrath, all conspiring against the spirit that is serenely marching on.

Can you explain this part? Thanks in advance.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "The convict's garb" ("garb" means "clothing") is being used as a symbol for the practice of imprisonment. "Social wrath" here seems to mean society's enmity towards those who are convicted of crimes.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Actually, those are separate notions. The paragraph talks about what may happen to people who come up with new ideas. The Newt is right about convict's garb. But "social wrath" here is simply another reaction of society, not to convicts but to those who want to change things: they may be physically attacked, they may be imprisoned, they may be hated by society.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top