Nellie Bly

Caroline Woods 1

Brief Background

Nellie Bly was a pioneer for women in journalism in the 1890s. She went against all that men were trying to tell her to accomplish in life. Elizabeth Cochrane, or Nellie Bly, took on the pen name to become a journalist. However, she took this job to a whole new level when she went undercover to write about places where little was known. The most famous work she made is Ten Days in a Mad-House, in which she describes her travels into an insane asylum. She also traveled around the world in eighty days, beating the world record at the time. Overall, Bly transformed a bland and sexist industry into a vibrant and unique investigative practice.
Nellie Bly Documentary

Nellie Bly and Henry David Thoreau

Nellie Bly lived a life with no regrets. She formed a life that Henry David Thoreau would be proud of in his work "Civil Disobedience." In many ways Bly disagreed with the way society around her worked, and she sought to change that through her written words. Thoreau was much the same. In his passage, Thoreau had to say about life that "I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad." In many ways Nellie Bly made this her lifestyle by taking an extra step and not follow social norms. The ways that she forged investigative journalism exemplifies the traits of a true American citizen that Thoreau describes in his works.