to make a puppet of someone

ekbatana

Senior Member
German Austria
What does to make a puppet of someone mean and I don't mean the activity of a puppetmaker but the figurative sense. Unfortunately, google search results are few and far between. Does it mean to ridicule someone, to show someone up as the first 2 references seem to imply or does this verbal phrase have various differing meanings like in the thrid reference whose meaning I cannot figure out at all?

1. His main accomplishment at this point in his life is to have been born into one of the richest families. He hasn't shown any political sense, other than to allow Karl Rove to make a puppet of him. Frist seems to be thinking "It worked for W and it can work for me."

2. america wants to make a puppet of our current government and this is evident basing on the enormous financial contribution they are making to ghana regardless of mismanagement and incidence of curruption in the government.

3. Strasser escorted her home again, in the car he must have retrieved while she and Kroenen were talking. He said little, and Ilsa wondered if she now had the power to make a puppet of her own. Or to control this one.
 
  • Broccolicious

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello there

    If someone is a 'puppet', it means they are controlled by someone else, and don't make their own decisions. In the first example, then, Karl Rove is controlling the person.

    In the second example, the implication is that the US government wants to 'buy' control of the Ghanaian government (no comment!).

    In the third example, I think Ilsa is thinking that she could control Strasser, although it's a bit tricky without much context.

    Does that help?

    Broc
     

    ekbatana

    Senior Member
    German Austria
    Thanks a lot for your reply, that put me on the right track!! I take it that in the first reference, Mr. xxx is Karl Rowe's puppet, eg. that Karl Rowe has him under his thumb.

    However, I still cannot figure out the meaning of the second reference. Why do you think that it means "to buy" in this particular context? I'm sorry for the references but that is all that my search came up with because all the other search results were about making marionettes with instructions how to do this.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Why do you think that it means "to buy" in this particular context?
    The combination of "financial contributions" and "corruption in the government" would seem to indicate that there are bribes taking place - government officials are being "bought" with bribes.
     

    ekbatana

    Senior Member
    German Austria
    Thanks Myrdion!! Now I got it! Initially I belived that "our government" referred to the US government but apparently it refers to the Ghanan government instead and the article was written by some angry, disgruntled Ghanan!! When I look for references on google, I usually only read a very small portion of the text and that's the result!!
     

    airportzombie

    Senior Member
    English - CaE/AmE
    Example 2 refers to a particular political concept called puppet state, which the writer believes is what America is trying to make of Ghana through financial contributions. Wiki definition below:
    A puppet state (also puppet government, marionette government) is a nominal sovereign who is, in reality, controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette. A puppet state has also been described as an entity which in fact lacks independence, preserves all the external paraphernalia of independence, but in reality is only an organ of another state who has set it up and whose satellite it is.
     
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