You are a six-year-old child, living during the Industrial Revolution. You work 14 hours, sometimes 19 hours a day, for little or no pay.
You are only granted a mere one-hour break from work. You have to work with large, heavy, and dangerous equipment. You yearn for the day you can buy back your freedom, with the little you earn. In Two-Time Newbery Award Winning Author, Katherine Paterson’s novel, Lyddie, these were the conditions faced by many of the workers, including Lyddie. In order to pay off the farm’s debts, Lyddie has to depart from her family. Lyddie is sent to work at a tavern, however, is fired later on. Lyddie considers going to work at the mills in Lowell, MA. However, havoc begins to wreak when Lyddie begins working at the mills.
The conditions in the mill are very poor, the workers are treated unfairly, it is hard to breathe in the murky air, and the work is simply grueling. When Diana Goss, a reformer’s petition reaches Lyddie, she is left to decide whether to sign the petition or not. Lyddie should sign the petition, for the good of herself and for the good of the other workers. One of the reasons Lyddie should sign the petition is that, the workers, including herself, are getting sick from working long hours in the murky air, there are also several other safety concerns and issues. In Lyddie, it says, “What a noise! Clatter and clack, great shuddering moans, groans, creaks and rattles. The shrieks and whistles.
.. And when her brain cleared enough, Lyddie saw through the murky air”(Paterson 62) This establishes that the weaving room was very uncomfortable. It had very murky air and was very noisy.
This could harm one’s sinuses and ears. The weaving room was also very dangerous, “Before she could think she was on the floor, blood pouring through the hair near her right templethe shuttle, the blasted shuttle”(p.103) Lyddie was badly injured by the equipment in the weaving room. Blood was flowing continuo…