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The ASCC echoed this excitement about film, but also approached the technology with caution. The Reward of Courage was to be the first ever public education film about cancer, but the ASCC (despite Osborne’s and Powers’ enthusiasm for motion pictures) did not regard it as a simple solution to its educational goals. Like other health organizations, it believed that movies had an exceptional ability to instruct, but it also suggested that this exceptionality was brought out best when film was used in concert with other, more traditional, educational media such as pamphlets, posters, slides, newspapers, and lectures. With this in mind, Osborne wrote a scenario for the film, and asked a former colleague at the American Social Hygiene Association for advice on production. The colleague was the Association’s director of exhibits, H.E. Kleinschmidt, a prominent advocate of film in health education.

 American Society for the Control of Cancer, Vital Facts About Cancer, 2. Emphasis in the original.

Yet, despite this caution The Reward of Courage remained an important part of the ASCC’s educational efforts. The following year-following complaints about the amount of work involved in the 1921 Cancer Week — Charles Powers recommended a more streamlined plan for the 1922 Cancer Week, focused on three “prime essentials” — written articles, scientific meetings and public lectures, and motion picture theatres. The last of these — motion picture theaters — was selected in part because of the popularity of the venue as a place of entertainment in the 1920s — the social stigma attached to film and film audiences had disappeared during the late 1910s and early 1920s, and the composition of movie audiences had shifted from being predominantly working class and immigrant to include the middle class. In Powers’ view, these theatres were to be the sites of lantern slide screenings, four-minute lectures prepared by the ASCC, the distribution of cancer leaflets (especially at matinees attended by adult women), and showings of The Reward of Courage. The plans for the campaign also noted that the film was already being widely used in many picture theatres.


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American Society for the Control of Cancer, Vital Facts About Cancer, 1.

It was in the fall of 1921 that the American Society for the Control of Cancer (ASCC) released its first public education film. The Reward of Courage sought to transform public ideas about cancer by encouraging people to seek help from a recognized physician at the first sign of the disease or its possibility: early detection and treatment being the ASCC’s main approach to cancer control. The ASCC embedded this message in a melodrama that warned against a nefarious “quack,” invited audiences to sympathize with a vulnerable woman endangered and a young couple thwarted in love, and told of the story of a hard-headed businessman converted to the idea that an industrial clinic could improve worker health and productivity, reduce company costs, and detect cancers.


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The love story served to reinforce a broader ASCC educational message about the hereditary nature of cancer. Pamphlets circulated by the cancer society during the 1921 Cancer Week noted that cancer was not inherited, and that it was not even certain that a tendency or predisposition to the disease was inherited. The real danger, according to the ASCC, was that the public belief that cancer was a hereditary disease encouraged those “infected with this disease desire to conceal it,” perhaps out of shame. The result was twofold.

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On the NASPT/NTA see Richard Harrison Shryock, National Tuberculosis Association, 1904-1954: A Study of the Voluntary Health Movement in the United States (New York: National Tuberculosis Association, 1957). Michael E. Teller, The Tuberculosis Movement: A Public Health Campaign in the Progressive Era (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988). More generally on tuberculosis see Barbara Bates, Bargaining for Life: A Social History of Tuberculosis, 1876-1938 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992). Sheila M. Rothman, Living in the Shadow of Death: Tuberculosis and the Social Experience of Illness in American History (New York: Basic Books, 1994). Cynthia A. Connolly, Saving Sickly Children: The Tuberculosis Preventorium in American Life, 1909-1970 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2008).

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This essay will analyze Huckleberry Finn and its relation to society today; the main issues that are addressed include: Huckleberry’s growth as a moral and upstanding person, race relations between African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans including Huck’s relation to Jim and the issue of slavery, the role of society and an analysis of...