Anon. (The Downfall of Justice)

unknown


Dramatic Works

The Downfall of Justice; and the Farmer just return’d from Meeting on Thanksgiving Day (1777)



The Downfall of Justice; and the Farmer just return’d from Meeting on Thanksgiving Day  (1777)


Production & Reception History

unknown, but the text plays on “real-life” enactment: “lately acted in CONNECTICUT”

Print & Publication History

“DANVERS: Printed and Sold by E. Russell, next the Bell-Tavern” [1777]. 16 pp.

The available text is the second edition, to which is annexed “A FABLE, By way of an ADDRESS to a COUNTRYMAN, on his petitioning JUPITER for an amendment of his Circumstances”

Genre & Structure

  • “comedy,” political satire;
  • generic hybrid (“graphic novel,” scenic dialogue, fable)

Gender Relevance

features a discussion between a rich farmer and his wife as well as his daughter Sarah while they are feasting on Thanksgiving day; focuses on domestic vs. public gender relations;

Key Words & Themes

wartime food shortage, class conflicts, economy, oikos v. polis

Additional Information

the play features a black servant, Jack, who speaks dialect, and who is the only character with a sound moral compass; the play funnily contrasts private wealth with public welfare, and the greed of the rich with starving populations; the amended fable conveys the same message in a more somber tone, deliberating the meaning of “true happiness”

Availability

Early American Imprints, Series 1, no. 15290

Evans Early American Imprint Collection, http://name.umdl.umich.edu/N12116.0001.001

Secondary Sources

Richards, Jeffrey H. Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 24-28.

(discussed in terms of race)