The Importance Of Manual Labour And Its Impact On The Development Of Working Class Literature

882 Words Mar 7th, 2016 4 Pages
In the modern world, there is a tendency to fetishize hard work. Manual labour is viewed by those who may not necessarily practice it as a noble enterprise, giving its own unique satisfaction. Though this is true in many cases, the unfortunate reality is that working hard all day, every day exacts a brutal toll on body and mind. Not only does work often take away energy that might otherwise be spent on constructive personal pursuits, it historically paid only the bare minimum needed to keep workers coming back to the factory, mine, or mill, regardless of their ability to survive, let alone thrive on such meagre compensation. Constant danger, active and passive oppression by local and national power structures all contribute to the deprivation of the rights, goods, and opportunities afforded to the wealthier classes. This lack is reflected in the development of working class literature. The whole body of literature can be divided into a series of canons, each one suited for the group which created it. In spite of inherent structural differences, all share the same attitudes of want and aspiration. In the early stages of American development we see a labour system remarkable in the intensity of work performed, an intensity reflected in a body of literature which cries out for a reprieve. Slave literature occupies a similar vein, calling for freedom and. in some cases, an end to exile. The burgeoning labor movement after the Civil War provide a vast canon of songs, poems, and…

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