"The Gilded Age"...many a truth have been spoken in jestMark Twain, with his gift of satire coined the phrase, 'The Gilded Age'. This was his commentary on those who gained considerable wealth...

"The Gilded Age"...many a truth have been spoken in jest

Mark Twain, with his gift of satire coined the phrase, 'The Gilded Age'. This was his commentary on those who gained considerable wealth during the American industrial revolution. What is interesting is that not every industrialist "got it", which in turn heightened Twain's satire to that of sheer genius!!!

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The robber barons built their success on the hard work of poor Americans. Twain satirized that everything about America seemed prosperous on the outside: gleaming buildings, railroads, and new inventions. The wealth was superficial. The new money was built on tenuous ground.
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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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And I think not only was Twain commenting on the Gilded edge, upper crust of society, but on the vast majority of the population that were connected to them by the same plate, the plain, poor part of the gilded plate that earned the robber barons their wealth.  The edge being not only rich, but obscenely rich, with virtually no middle class, and everyone else in poverty.  I agree, sheer genius.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Isn't Mark Twain great in terms of his satirical observations of society! The phrase "the gilded age" manages to capture the symbolism explained in #2 and also to expose Twain's own view about these individuals who have feathered their own nests at the expense of others, and who have given themselves an appearance of civility which only thinly masks their uncivil ways.

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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I think it is spelled "Gilded Age" as in gilded with gold.  It was really his commentary on a society that looked rich but like a gilded plate, there was only a thin upper crust of wealth.  The meaning is twofold.  First the veneer of wealth and civilization was thin on the men who had the wealth.  Many of them were barbarians underneath that veneer.  Secondly the veneer of wealth was only on the top of society.  below it there was a teeming mass of impovershed city dwellers.

Thank you...appreciate your observation.  I corrected the typo.

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jilllessa | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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I think it is spelled "Gilded Age" as in gilded with gold.  It was really his commentary on a society that looked rich but like a gilded plate, there was only a thin upper crust of wealth.  The meaning is twofold.  First the veneer of wealth and civilization was thin on the men who had the wealth.  Many of them were barbarians underneath that veneer.  Secondly the veneer of wealth was only on the top of society.  below it there was a teeming mass of impovershed city dwellers.

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