Workers In Lyddie

1580 Words 7 Pages
Do what is righteous and necessary, no matter what circumstances. The novel Lyddie, by Katherine Patterson is about a thirteen-year-old girl name Lyddie. Lyddie must take responsibility and be the adult of her family. Lyddie goes to the mills in hopes of earning enough money to pay off the farm debt. The plan was that once the farm debt was paid off, Lyddie would be able to reunite her family back on the farm. However, working conditions at the mills was not favored by many of the factory girls. As a result, radicals were circulating a petition where workers can sign it in order to improve working conditions in the mills. Lyddie should sign the petition because workers were treated poorly by their overseer’s and the working environment was …show more content…
By signing the petition, Lyddie could change the treatment of the workers. Overseer’s were inconsiderate and did not help out the girl’s when they got injured. According to the novel, it states, “It ain’t right for this place to suck the strength out of their youth, then cast them off like dry husks in the wind.” (113) This shows that the overseers would often overwork their workers, which led to more injuries. When the injuries became severe and the girls were frail, they abandoned them because the girls were no longer useful to them. Likewise, almost as if treating them like slaves. To add on, overseers often got paid a bonus if their worker wove the most cloth. This proves that overseers were selfish and only cared for their pay rather than recognize the inadequate conditions that were put onto the girls. Furthermore, overseers also tried to perform sexual acts onto the young mill girls, including Lyddie. As it states, “She tried to pull back from him, but he clutched tighter. He was bringing his strange little mouth closer and closer to her fiery face.” (123) Mr. Marsden is trying to hold back Lyddie even though she feels sick. Moreover, Mr. Marsden was trying to kiss Lyddie. This is considered inappropriate, as Mr. Marsden is a grown man with a wife and Lyddie is thirteen years old. It proves that overseers were abusive and forceful towards the girls. To add on, it also proves that overseers abused their power by …show more content…
By signing the petition, Lyddie would be able to create a safer environment to work in. According to the novel, it states, “The cough persisted. She began to spend days in in her bedroom, then the house infirmary, until, finally, when blood showed up in her phlegm, Mrs.Bedlow demanded that she be removed to the hospital.” (112) The air quality in the weaving room was horrendous. Breathing in the polluted air could be hazardous, especially for the young girls such as Betsy. Betsy worked at the mill for quite a long time before she began to acquire this dry cough. So, it could be concluded that it can take a long period of time in order to see the effects of the unsanitary air but it is long-term and life threatening effects. This dry cough could be a symptom of a lung disease called tuberculosis, which was an often disease among the girls. Furthermore, the machinery used in the weaving room was treacherous. According to the book it states, “She was hit by a shuttle, Diana said.” The work equipment was dangerous and many workers including Lyddie got injured very easily. Especially, being the fact that the girls required physical strength and as well as the dexterity in order the work the machines. If the girls were not attentive and alert, the machines could extremely harm them. Moreover, the weaving room was extremely loud. As stated in the novel, “Within five minutes, her head began to feel like

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