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Asa Boldman

Western Civilization

Discussion Question #6

1). In the Report on Child Labor, a parliament committee investigates what really goes on in
factories and how the child labor is incorporated with it.
A typical day of life for a child during this time period would include the following:

 Wake up very early to walk to the mill (could be several miles away)
o If late for work, children were often beaten
 Stay awake and work your hardest or you will be beaten by your employer
 Keep yourself safe from coarse language and sexual behavior from fellow employees
 Do your job (often, a child’s task would be the same exact thing)
 Receive a one-hour lunch break
 Work a 14-16 hour day depending on the time of year
 Walk back home

2). Kay describes the life of a factory worker in the following ways, “To condemn man to such
severity of toil is, in some measure, to cultivate in him the habits of an animal.” or “He becomes
reckless. He disregards the distinguishing appetites and habits of his species.” Some of these
appetites that Kay is talking about would include things like family, good morals, and even things
like hygiene. In relation to family, Kay says, “His wife and children, too frequently, subjected to the
same process, are unable to cheer his remaining moments of leisure.” Therefore, it wasn’t only the
father that was affected by this gruesome work, but the entire family suffered due to the factory
killing him. Doing the same exact thing that you hate every day is bound to have several negative
implications in one’s life. Working as a factory worker brought out the worst of these implications.

3). Engels describes social conflict as, “the war of all against all – is fought in the open” He
speaks of how people in the city have utter disregard for each other and are only worried about “their
own principles and pursuing their own aims.” He also explains this “war” with the following
sentence, “here indeed human society has been split into its component atoms”
Engels also speaks of “class consciousness” in the following ways. “Are they not all human
beings with the same innate characteristics and potentialities? Are they not all equally interested in
the pursuit of happiness?” Yet, Engels describes how there was a huge of amount of segregation
between the wealthy and the workers. The conditions of these workers homes were abhorrent and
worlds different than that of the employers/wealthier people. There is an obvious separation of
classes and it’s blatantly obvious that each class was conscious of their status in society.