For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Labor and Workplace Issues in Literature

by Johnson, Claudia Durst (2006)

Abstract

The daily newspaper headlines revealing deaths, illnesses, and injuries in the workplace, along with the ongoing decline of workers' rights, make this book an especially timely volume. Included are chapters devoted to such widely read texts as Hard Times, Life in the Iron Mills, Bartleby the Scrivener, The Grapes of Wrath, and several others. Each chapter examines the historical background and plot of the work, the labor and workplace issues raised by the author, and the history of those issues since the text was published. Just a few of the issues raised are low wages, long hours, workplace dangers, unemployment, sexual harassment, and the struggle of immigrants. Each chapter provides topics for research and discussion, and cites works for further reading. The volume closes with a selected, general bibliography.The volume discusses such issues as low wages, long hours, workplace dangers, unemployment, sexual harassment, lack of job security or medical care, and the struggle of immigrants. Each chapter closes with topics for research and discussion, along with a list of works for further reading. An introductory essay examines the consequences of the industrial revolution and the economic philosophies central to society. The volume closes with a selected, general bibliography. Students in literature and social studies classes will value this helpful guide.

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Work in Literature

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