Page Plant Bonham and Jones were debauchers
who launched televisions from hotel balconies and evicted few groupies untouched during their astonishingly successful early years.
The poem's rhetoric encourages readers to guard American virtue against alien debauchers
and their allies, appealing to Anglophobia rather than merely abolitionism, and thus improbably figures a sensationalized intersectional dispute as a conflict with a foreign power.
The husband "goes out confidently and confidently he returns, knowing that whether he is absent or present, she will not let in any adulterers, listen to any debauchers
, attend to any deceivers." According to the needs of his business, when absent, "confidently he commits his goods to her." For her part, the wife "fears chastely, she loves perfectly; she loves her husband not for his possessions but for his very self.
It especially shines when Laxness describes encounters between people of different cultures, as when Hreggvidsson meets Arnaeus's adjutant in Denmark and is asked, "My lord has read in reputable books that Icelanders are primo, thievish; secundo, liars; tertio, arrogant; quarto, lice-ridden; quinto, drunkards; sexto, debauchers
; septimo, cowards, unfit for war....
"A New York charity worker described the homes of the poor as `nurseries of indolence, debauchers
, and intemperance,' and their inhabitants as the `moral pests of society.' Instead of recognizing these conditions as expected outcomes in overcrowded, impoverished communities, they became the antithesis of the proper home and the root of all social evil." MIMI ABRAMOVITZ, UNDER ATTACK, FIGHTING BACK: WOMEN AND WELFARE IN THE UNITED STATES 51-59 (2000); see also LINDA GORDON, PITIED BUT NOT ENTITLED: SINGLE MOTHERS AND THE HISTORY OF WELFARE 1890-1935 (1984).