preview

Evil Brings Forth Evil Essay

Decent Essays
It is said that evil days bring forth good men to match them. It is equally true that evil men bring forth evil days, and Reynold Walkden Staithes was an evil man that greatly magnified the evils of his days. The best thing anyone could say about him, and the best thing anyone ever did say about him, was that he was a Yorkshireman. After that, they were stuck for words. Stuck for commendable words, that is. They had plenty to say about him that was uncomplimentary. Most people feared him because he was mean and spiteful and exacted awful vengeance on those he knew to be and those he took to be his enemies. He trusted no one apart from men with whom he had done business for many years, and even then he suspicioned that they would do him…show more content…
That was why they did not complain or rise against his brutal autocratic rule. Their wages were in his grasp, as was the power to reduce them if it suited him, which it often did. His control of workers’ fates was as certain as sunrise and sunset. A scowl from beneath his beetling brow, or a raised eyebrow instilled foreboding in the strongest of men. The fear of unemployment was more menacing than any direct threat could have been. He held threats of instant dismissal over the heads of his workers that involved more than the loss of jobs. Dismissal was as close to a sentence of death for a man as any wished to come.
In their circumstances, fear of being sacked was greater than fear of death. It was not the uncertainty of roasting in Hell’s unquenchable fire that held worker’s tempers in check, but the certainty of being made homeless and of their dependants facing hunger in a time when people were falling dead in the street from malnutrition. Winters were worse, because homeless people turned out of work were often discovered frozen to death under a hedge or wall. Under almost any circumstances employment, even working for a tyrant, was preferable to losing jobs, homes, and lives.
Staithes was shrewd. He relied on his worker’s doubts and insecurities to curb antagonism when he imposed hardships on them. Even those that might brave many dangers balked at the risk of being thrown out of work and into greater
Get Access