This page was created by Ellen Rethwisch.  The last update was by Erika Strandjord.

Star of the Sea : A Postcolonial/Postmodern Voyage into the Irish Famine

Punch Magazine

PUNCH magazine was the most sympathetic form of British press in regards to the British working class or what could be referred to as the lower class (de Nie 31). The lower class British were less sympathetic to the Irish as they thought welfare should cater to their needs within the country rather than look to send aid elsewhere. As a result of this, racial stereotypes manifested into portrayal of “Paddy,” an objectified, lazy and violent Irishman described in many of PUNCH’s cartoons. The Irish dependency on the potato was believed to have revealed their ignorance, and the potato farming was also believed to have destroyed the Irish work ethic. Branching from this sentiment, increasing reports of food riots and landlord assassinations during the Famine only provided reinforcement for the stereotype of the conspiring and violent Irish. Michael De Nie raised the question as to why a discourse that emphasized Irish otherness was so privileged at the time of Ireland’s greatest need, and it’s a very valid question at that. He discovered that it was largely linked to religion, class, and race, as the “Paddy” was a papist, peasant, and a Celt. Thus the self-perpetuating negativity was established in media like PUNCH magazine.   


Work Cited 
De Nie, Michael. "The Famine, Irish Identity, and the British Press." Irish Studies Review 6.1 (1998): 27-35. Web.
Researcher/Writer: Ben Deetz
Technical Designers: Abbey Benson and Ellen Rethwisch

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