John Carrol "My Boy Life" Essay

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After reading the short story “My Boy Life” which is the memoir of John Carroll, I was from time to time envious of Carroll’s life but also relieved that I was not born in the 1800’s. Born just before the war of 1812 in Upper Canada, Carroll’s life was very simple. His prospective future occupations only consisted of a few and were predetermined from birth. How simple is life when everything is already set in stone? From the age of twelve to seventeen, Carroll worked at a tannery and as a currier. Carroll’s job was associated with his father’s work, his father being a saddler and harness-maker. Only grinding the bark in the tannery, Carroll’s life was consistent and did not require much effort of having to plan out his future. Sadly, much…show more content…
Even from a relatively young age, people are more conscious of what is happening around us as we have grown exceedingly intelligent – too clever that our standards of what we expect from individuals have gone up. All of these factors make it seem like I have a tougher life than Carroll, but some aspects are still harder in his life. As he lives his daily life, Carroll, as a boy is expected to do heavy chores and to earn money for the family. Carroll operated the harrow, a heavy piece of strong wood in the form of the letter ‘A’. He performed this through the use of two oxen, but even then, it was very wearisome to perform this necessary but draining work. This would be extraordinary to see in the twenty-first century as the chores are relatively smaller and easier to manage. Generation after another, humans grew lazy and all the tasks performed before are replaced by machines that accomplish tasks ranging from the most difficult to the easiest. Carroll regrettably beat the poor oxen when the heavy harrow jerked, giving him a great shock to his slender arms. The oxen tried Carroll’s patience and as he was without grace at the time, it often made him lose his temper. Profanities were thrown at the pitiable unknowing brutes which Carroll still repents even at the age of seventy. At a young age, it was harder for Carroll to get jobs and less common for fair payment to be received upon child labour. As you were not treated equally with adults, the pay was mostly bare minimum.

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