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En symbolladdad pistol
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2009 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
A Gun Loaded With Meaning (English)
Abstract [en]

Bank robber John Dillinger (1903 – 1934) achieved legendary status after breaking out of the escape-proof Lake County Jail in Indiana with the help of a wooden gun. The wooden gun became a symbol that defined him as a criminal. He became a trickster of folk tradition; he outwitted the police and was chased by a small army. America's greatest man hunt stretched the boundaries of the law; innocent people got killed before John Dillinger was shot down in by the enraged FBI. John Dillinger won many battles against the superior forces of the law, but he lost the war.

The biography of the wooden pistol is somewhat confusing: several individuals and museums purport to have it in their possession. Most likely, the John Dillinger Museum in Hammond, Indiana, owns the authentic gun. According to some, the wooden gun story was invented by John Dillinger himself. This essay includes the history of the object in question, and its purpose is to find out what Dillinger's wooden gun represents.

The news about the wooden gun escape inspired people, who lived in the shadow of the Great Depression. The wooden gun story proved that anything is possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, Uppsatser inom musei- & kulturarvsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-6079 ; 63
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-140455Local ID: 63OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-140455DiVA: diva2:383661
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-01-05 Created: 2011-01-05 Last updated: 2011-01-05Bibliographically approved

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