Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

Traitors Unite

This political cartoon shows the devil, Benedict Arnold, and Jefferson Davis dancing around a pot of treason and the scene is labeled “a proper family reunion.”  Benedict Arnold and Jefferson Davis are both widely considered traitors to the United States of America, but this cartoon suggests traitors, or more specifically traitors to the U.S., are a part of the agency of evil and betraying the US government is on par with the ultimate traitor, Satan who betrayed God. Benedict Arnold, considered one of the biggest traitors in US history, was a general during the American Revolution. Frustrated by his soldiers’ poor performance in the war and tempted by brides from the British, Arnold began making arrangements to surrender American territory to the British, but was discovered. Arnold was able to escaped capture from Washington’s army. He is still infamous for his acts of treason and in America his name is synonymous with treachery.  Jefferson Davis is a more controversial traitor in American history because following the Civil War not everyone would agree Davis was truly a traitor. Davis was the president of the Union throughout its existence. At the end of the Civil War, he was charged with treason though never tried. During the turmoil following the war, Davis remained a symbol of the South and strong resistance. Many Southerners regarded Davis as a hero and a true embodiment of their values. The political cartoon echoes Dante’s Inferno in that the lowest level of Hell is designated for the worst sinners, traitors. Although in the Inferno treachery to a benefactor is considered the highest form of betrayal, an act of treachery toward your political party or nation is still considered inexcusable and particularly horrendous. Betrayal during a time of national conflict or war seems to be a key theme in this political cartoon as well.

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2 responses

  1. zet66

    These political cartoons which incorporate the devil are so interesting. I like how you brought up the connection of Satan betraying God and these two men betraying their country. Certainly the severity between what Satan did and what these two men did is not any where near the same but the linking of the two in this cartoon is very provacative. Also I like how you discussed Dante’s Inferno- a connection that I don’t think most would think of.

    May 8, 2011 at 8:12 pm

  2. ca9455

    Its intriguing how instead of being punished like in Dante’s Inferno these two men are incoprporated to be in association with the Devil in some sort of bigger trason plot.

    May 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm

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