Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Empty Sleeve

From: civilwarmonitor.com

The empty sleeve became a symbol of the postwar era. By pinning up a shirt sleeve or trouser leg, war veterans emphasized their sacrifices, mettle, and manhood. Some amputees—like Lucius Fairchild of Wisconsin and Francis R. T. Nichols of Louisiana—even utilized their injuries to garner votes and gain political office.

The above drawing by Winslow Homer uses the image of the empty sleeve to symbolize the great changes ushered in by the Civil War: distorted bodies, altered gender relations, and newfound freedoms. (Image Credit: Harper’s Weekly.)  


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