The Condition of the Working Class in England

1688 Words7 Pages
"Two and a half-million pairs of lungs, two hundred and fifty thousand fires, crowded upon an area three to four miles square, consume an enormous amount of oxygen, which is replaced with difficulty," (Engels 1). Engels could be describing the conditions in which we work in the factory, but he is not even going so far. The poor bloke was probably frightened off from our cities to the point where visiting an actual textile mill or coalmine would have killed him. The astute German author is describing not where we work, but where we live. Imagine! My name is Whitley Briggs, and I am an apprentice tailor. My mother works in the same factory as I do, and my father died five years ago from typhus or consumption I forgot which, now. We workers all toil together, all day long, in the close confines of the coalmines or the factory lines, only to go home not to fresh air but to the "carbonic acid gas, engendered by respiration and fire," (Engels 1). Fresh air has become foreign to us, like exotic oils and spices. The situation has become so that the factories are extensions of our homes. Perhaps it is good this way. For this way, the system exists to make us feel a seamless connection between our personal and professional lives. How considerate of the factory-owners to make our places of employment so familiar and comfortable! It would be far too shocking to have a home with birds and butterflies flitting about; we might not come back the next morning to work! A constant state of
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