Experiences of Working-Class Women in the 1930’s as Depicted Within The Tin Flute and Breadwinning Daughters: A Comparative Essay

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This essay will explore the experiences of working-class women in Canada during the 1930’s, particularly, how “the 1930’s shaped [young women’s] economic and social positions within their families and altered their life choices, yet also created the possibility of independence and adventure, and opened up access to the city’s commercial amusements.” This essay will draw upon examples from two literary works – The Tin Flute by Gabriel Roy and Breadwinning Daughters by Katrina Srigley – in order to compare the similarities and differences of the experiences of young working women during the Great Depression. I will conclude this essay by assessing the merits as well as detriments of telling the stories of struggle and sacrifice through …show more content…
Many felt fulfilled supporting their families and realized a degree of social and economic independence they had not experienced before. Others sacrificed schooling opportunities and personal freedom, entering the labour market with the obligations of breadwinners rather than supplementary wage earners.
The Tin Flute explored how nineteen-year-old Florentine Lacasse took on a job as a waitress at a local diner when her father’s business went bankrupt as a result of the Great Depression. Florentine Lacasse is a fine example of a young woman who found her job rewarding as well as burdensome. She had acknowledged how she was sustaining her family and enjoyed seeing her family, especially her mother, happy about her ability to earn a wage. She had also expressed how she enjoyed the fact that she was able to purchase little silk stockings and attend the cinemas on the extra cash she made from her job. Yet, she also acknowledged that her role and responsibility as primary income earner was also a burden to herself and her independence: “She had helped her mother [and family] out of fairness and pride, but without real tenderness, and often, with a sense of injury to herself.” Florentine admitted how she was

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