“Who has not trembled at the Mohocks' name?”: Narratives of Control and Resistance in the Press in Early Eighteenth-Century London
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The Mohocks were a rake gang that terrorized the streets of eighteenth-century London in the spring of 1712, but their reputation was the result of a panic propagated by newspapers and pamphlets. The presentation of the rakes is influenced by competing agendas; the agenda can be one of control and cohesion, where the criminal is an adversarial source of social disruption that unifies society through opposition to it. This agenda is countered by a rejection and mockery of the control narrative, where fear-mongering is ridiculed as a tool of authorities who are morally equivalent to the criminals they condemn. The print production surrounding the Mohocks, as well as John Gay's plays, The Mohocks and The Beggar's Opera, show that the agendas of authority and rebellion often appear side by side. The texts examined here express a liberal yearning for personal freedom as well as a conservative desire for security.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeCarlson, Keith; Findlay, Len; Stephanson, Ray
Copyright DateDecember 2011