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Discussion Questions, Part 2

"I looked at my watch. It was 4:20 am on the day of our Lord, December 21, 1919.

On the deck above us I could hear the men tramping up and down in the wintry blast. I felt dizzy, visioning a transport of politicals doomed to Siberia, the étape of former Russian days. Russia of the past rose before me and I saw the revolutionary martyrs being driven into exile. But no, it was New York, it was America, the land of liberty! Through the port-hole I could see the great city receding into the distance, its sky-line of buildings traceable by their rearing heads. It was my beloved city, the metropolis of the New World. It was America, indeed, America repeating the terrible scenes of tsarist Russia! I glanced up-the Statue of Liberty!"

Emma Goldman, Living My Life, Vol. 2 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf), p. 717.

In this drawing, the smoke from the USS Buford, the ship that took 249 deportees including Emma Goldman from America to the Soviet Union, clouds the face of the Statue of Liberty.

Questions for Discussion:

  • How does Emma Goldman use the Statue of Liberty to communicate the betrayal of American ideals represented by her deportation?
  • What message does the Liberator cartoon convey? Does it offer a different feeling or tone than Goldman's memoir?
  • Why do you think the Statue of Liberty plays such a central role in all of these texts?
Emma Goldman deportation
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"America repeating the terrible scenes of tsarist Russia! I glanced up—the Statue of Liberty!" —Emma Goldman, Living My Life
The Sailing of the Buford
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"The Sailing of the Buford," from the Liberator, February, 1920

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Discussion Questions, Part 2." (Viewed on November 27, 2014) <http://jwa.org/discover/throughtheyear/november/patriotism/discussion-pt2>.

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