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TOM I really agree with you Emmitt.

Although these two movements seem extremely alike, there is more to it than that. As you said Emmitt, this strike involved a very diverse group. There were women from several different nationalities, women from different classes, and even men and local officials. In the Gilded Age most strikes involved people from either the same background, or at least the same industry. I think that this strike had a further reach and a greater impact because it so many different groups of people. The Uprising of 20,000 remained much more peaceful than many of the riotous strikes throughout the Gilded Age. I believe that the more peaceful nature of this strike was caused by slightly different goals of it. Many of the strikes before the 1900s were direct responses from the workers to a wage cut or a new policy put in place by their company, but this strike was more of a gradual building up until the women reached a boiling point and went on strike. Another big difference is that the Uprising of 20,000 aimed more towards improving safety and working conditions than the strikes during the Gilded Age did. The women had to be more peaceful than other strikers because otherwise they would undermine their goal of creating a safer work environment.

SHIRLEY I understand your points Kelly, and I am still not quite sure how I feel about the ending of this novel. I think the reason she killed herself was a purely self-serving reason. I do not think that it was for her children, to give them the mother they deserve. Because Edna throughout the novel has done things purely for herself such as moving out and becoming infatuated with Robert. Though I do think she loves her children, I do not think she would give up her life and herself purely for the sake of her children. I think that overall Edna's death was liberating for her. She was never happy no matter what she did to try to change her life. She did not want children, but she did not enjoy being alone. She flip-flopped on which guy she wanted to be with. Edna is a very passionate person in everything she does, so each one of her whims is expanded a hundred fold, which eventually means she is not able to be happy. I think by the end of the novel, Edna realized that she was not going to be happy, so she wanted to kill herself to have some sense of peace without disrupting everyone else. KRYSTAL In Chapter 37 we see Madame Ratignolle in labor where she is described with her face "drawn and pinched, her sweet blue eyes haggard and unnatural" (109), and throughout these "agonizing moment" (110), Adele is sweating and gritting her teeth. In this section, Chopin also describes Edna's experience when she had children as she recalls "ecstasy of pain, the heavy odor of chloroform, a stupor which had dreaded sensation" (110). Usually, birth is an event regarded with joy, but here Chopin uses painful diction to present the event as something unpleasant and undesirable. The description Chopin gives makes no mention of "the miracle of life" or any such sentiments. Instead, she writes very realistically about the pain experienced and how it can make someone as beautiful as a Adele look "haggard and unnatural". This is very much a Realist description of childbirth.

A huge theme in this book is women's choices, and here, by describing childbirth as undesirable, Chopin makes the point that having children is not an easy thing and women should not be blamed if they don't want to go through this. I think another reason Chopin describes birth like this is to further show the contrast between Edna's beliefs and the expectations of women. As the book is narrating Edna's story, we can presumed the descriptions in the book fits with how Edna sees things. Childbirth is inherent to what makes women women (at least, that's what they thought back then). And if Edna sees it as an unpleasant experience, it shows further divide between Edna and societal norms. ANDREW Great post, Emmitt - I think you hit most of the major points. I think that, in essence, the Uprising of the 20,000 was not very different from the Gilded Age strikes at all. As with most strikes in the Gilded Age, the strike was caused in part by horrific working conditions and low pay. The workers went on strike in the usual way, backed by a union, albeit as small one. But the strike was unique in many ways. Most importantly, it was the first major strike that was organized by and comprised mainly of women. There was violence in the strike, reminiscent of the early strikes of the Gilded Age such as Haymarket, but the violence was directed almost entirely at the striking women, instead of the protesters instigating violence in return, as was the case with many of the more radical Gilded Age strikes. Unlike so many of the Gilded Age strikes that deteriorated into violence or ended with a federal injunction, the Uprising of the 20,000 proved to be moderately successful, with many of the workers' conditions being accepted by their employers. The sheer scale of the strike also makes it stand out from the comparatively small Gilded Age strikes. The Uprising of the 20,000 had a different composition than the Gilded Age strikes, but at it's heart, it was just a large group of people fed up with their awful working conditions who got together and made an organized display of their displeasure by striking - the same formula that the Gilded Age strikes followed.

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