Saloon Culture

1530 words 7 pages
Saloon Culture
Analytical Critique Writing Assignment
HY 121 Spring 2005

Royal Melendy writes about a rising social culture taking place at the turn of the twentieth century. He depicts this culture as the ambiance emitted in early Chicago saloons. "Saloons served many roles for the working-class during this period of American history, and were labeled as the poor man's social clubs" (summary of saloon culture, pg. 76). Saloons were described as part of the neighborhood. An institution recognized and familiar to its people. Many laws restricted their services; however, they continued to exist. The article talks about two types of saloons. The first being the more upscale in downtown districts. These would close around midnight not
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79). He also states that these saloons "…appeal to lower natures…" (Melendy, pg. 79). After reading this article I was persuaded to uphold the author's view surrounding the need and existence of these saloons as social clubs for city laborers. As the article states in one paragraph: "he is surrounding for miles by brick and mortar; not a blade of grass or a leaf of green to be seen" (Melendy, pg. 78), it portrays the absolute separation of city life from nature of the early nineteen hundreds. This alone will create a longing in any organism to develop intellectual and social traits to sustain this absolute existence. Every human being holds certain physiological and social needs and these laboring workers of the early twentieth century had no place to fulfill these needs thus giving rise to the saloon culture. Melendy begins by distaining popular public sentiment of saloons. He states that many draw illusions from pictures or drawings of anti-saloon evangelists. He pronounces that these depictions of saloon culture are not totally false, but highly exaggerated. The author's argument for the saloon surfaces dominantly throughout the article by describing poverty and lack of communal development. In Melendy's full length article he explains the full satisfaction a majority of the saloons provide to


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