This week we have explored ‘Hard Times’ further. The industrial revolution took liberties with the environment that we are now trying to clean up. The ethics of work changed as well with the working classes being deprived of an education and were at the mercy of employers that saw them not much higher than animals.
Women relied on fathers to choose a husband who would protect them. With the emphasis on the intellect with no way to draw on knowledge of interaction with strong willed people, Louise was at the mercy of Harthouse…who was out to manipulate any situation to suit himself.
Fathers are such an important part of a child’s life that it is sometimes easy to overlook the dependency of the child to be educated in all aspects of life. Circus was a way of life in Hard Times. Sissy was encouraged to change her perspective and to take the opportunity that was before her. Even though her father had run out on her she was able to forgive him --- because he left in order that she would be able to move on in life. The view of those in authority was to state the fact in an unkind heartless way. Gradgrind also viewed spending time with uneducated people as a waste of time. The time we spend building relationship with others can assist us in our own daily walk.
I read this novel ‘Lyddie’ by Katherine Paterson – very similar to ‘Oliver Twist’ by Dickens but from a female perspective and set in America. Lyddie is abandoned by parents and eventually ends up in a mill – this along with ‘Hard Times’ inspired the items below….
A memo read and posted on the staff notice board.
To all workers:
It has come to management’s attention that some of you have been attending illegal meetings. Management will not tolerate such blatant disrespect for authority. Those who have been attending such meetings will from today find alternative forms of employment. Those that have been attending these meetings will receive a letter when they leave tonight with pay for work to date and will be required to return any property within two days.
I will be able to visit you after all…. I did a foolish thing of going to a meeting about better working conditions and wages, even though I am content with the working conditions because I am young and healthy….I see what the conditions are doing to those less fortunate.
Today we were told formerly by management that anyone going to these meetings would need to find work elsewhere. I thought I would be safe for I stayed in the shadows and did not recognize anyone I knew at the meeting. Alas this was not the case and was handed a letter on the way out from work.
So when I have finalized things here will endeavor to make my way to you within a few days.
Your loving nephew
As I was writing the above I could not help of thinking of the work place agreements that industry tried to impose on the Australian people and how fortunate that these agreements have been scrapped. I was also thinking of the influence of industry in some instances what tafe and universities teach students. Michael also mentioned in class that there are differing views on this issue.