Analysis of Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus

Analysis of Emma Lazarus’ Statue of Liberty Poem X Maxwell Wallace Maxwell Wallace has been a professional freelance copywriter since 1999. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications. An avid surfer, Wallace enjoys writing about travel and outdoor activities throughout the world. He holds a Bachelor of Science in communication and journalism from Suffolk University, Boston. “The New Colossus” is a sonnet by the late American poet, Emma Lazarus (1849-1887). . Significance * In 1903, “The New Colossus” achieved exceptional notoriety and perdurable fame when the last four lines of the piece were engraved on a large bronze plaque underneath the Statue of Liberty, located on Ellis Island in New York, New York. About the Author * Considered by her contemporaries as a dignitary of American letters, Emma Lazarus was one of the first successful Jewish-American authors in history. The New Colossus” exemplifies many common themes found in her catalog of work, most notably sympathy for emigrants seeking exile from harsh regimes and those who enduring prejudice — both of which were commonplace during her lifetime. History * Construction on the Statue of Liberty was completed in 1886, however the pedestal of the statue remained unfinished for some time.

Lazarus wrote the piece in conjunction with a movement by a group of New York artists and writers who were trying to raise money for the pedestal’s completion. Considerations * The poem describes the millions of immigrants who had already passed through Ellis Island, as well as lauding those who had yet to make the journey. Significance * The images of freedom and redemption in “The New Colossus” only further solidified the feelings of hope and rebirth experienced by immigrants who passed through Ellis Island

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