Punch (July-December, 1843)

"Trying to bag the Irish Goose"

n bold type, on the top of the cartoon taken from an edition of Punch (July-December of 1843), it reads 'Recess Recreations'. This in itself signifies Victorian England's tumultuous and condescending attitude towards the Irish. Two Englishmen, looking attentive and ready, hold shotguns as another reaches into his pocket, possibly for food with which he can lure the Irish Goose. The Irish Goose is depicted as an Irish man, with a much flatter, rounder face than the English. The Irish man is depicted as a wild goose that needs to be either tamed or put out of its misery. Ireland, in the background, is on fire. Symbolizing England's view of the Irish: firy, emotional, and uncontrollable and tempestuous. The Irish Goose/ Man's hands are open wide, as if he is about to land on them, or is ready for a fight. However, his small size demonstrates England's confidence, or possibly England's own desire to make their trouble's with Ireland seem small. The entire cartoon depicts England's relationship with Ireland, its need for control and to control, and how Ireland was seen by many English during the Victorian Era.

Return to Punch page.

[Victorian initial "I" by Harlan Wallach ©copyright 1994.]