“No sense they have of ills to come, / No care beyond today,” are two lines from the poem that accompanied this illustration in Harper’s Weekly. The subject of boys at play outside the schoolhouse is a good example of the new post–Civil War attitude that childhood innocence and play was as important as the learning that occurred in the schoolhouse. Some have also suggested that this image, in which the strongest boys hold the center at the hub and the weakest fall off at the outside of the chain, is Homer’s comment on social dynamics.
Image: 13 3/4 x 20 3/4 in. (34.9 x 52.7 cm)
Sheet: 15 7/8 x 21 7/8 in. (40.3 x 55.6 cm)
Frame: 22 3/4 x 28 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (57.8 x 73 x 3.8 cm)
Gift of Harvey Isbitts
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