Friday, February 15, 2008

Hard Times By Charles Dickens...

This book was not as compelling to me as far as the characters and their stories, but one of Dickens most fascinating novels as far as social commentary and one of his bravest.
One of the most interesting points that Dickens makes concerns the trouble with labor unions, something that I think we still struggle with today. On one hand, those unions were desperately needed to get people out of dangerous and impossible working conditions, to get them reasonable pay, to get children out of the factories. But, then as now, unions pose problems not just for companies, but also for labor. For example, when is it correct to force a man not to earn his daily bread, whether he agrees with a strike or not? In Utah, we are a "right to work" state, therefore unions have less power, labor is not forced to strike, which I think is good for the most part, but our teachers are paid less than I think every other state in the union. c's teacher is easily worth 100 Grand a year. The woman is a superstar! Most teachers are members of the union and union dues are steep at $50 per month(I think?) for which union members really get nothing in my opinion.
Dicken's deplored the working conditions of the laborers, the prejudice against them, the environmental impact of the smoke and other pollutants put out by the mills. Society has made great progress in all these areas atleast in 1rst world nations, but still Dickens has pointed out some things that still plague us today. It is amazing how relevant his writing remains. I am in awe. Thanks Janice for the recommendation. This was a great read!
P.S. Just please forgive me.. the spell check on blogger is still broken and I'm really horrid with spelling on my own these days.