By Amal Amireh
First released in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
Read Online or Download The Factory Girl and the Seamstress: Imagining Gender and Class in Nineteenth Century American Fiction PDF
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Additional resources for The Factory Girl and the Seamstress: Imagining Gender and Class in Nineteenth Century American Fiction
Soon the narrator realizes that the woman leaning on the arm of the happy youth is in the process of being seduced by the sweet lies of a libertine, and that the respectable-looking workers he saw in the factory are infiltrated by "decoys" or stool pigeons there to recruit them for the brothels of the city. H e also discovers that in addition to its bridges, canals, and promenades, Lowell has a seedy side that boasts of oyster houses, hotels, taverns, and gambling dens. The exemplary woman worker who was central in earlier accounts becomes in this novel a marginal character.
As a result, his passions are not well controlled, and he is easily distracted by novelty (43). His fickleness and unsteadiness lead him to break up his engagement with Mary and to marry instead the frivolous and selfish factory worker Lucy Newcome. Both William and Lucy (as her surname indicates) are representatives of the new and unreliable as it is embodied in the factory. William is also associated with the vagaries of speculation, for he wins a lottery ticket and is instantly transformed into a gentleman.
In many cases be swept away like chaff before the wind" (3). The novel consists of "confessions" of some Lowell men who describe in salacious, almost pornographic, details the scenes of seduction they have experienced. The women in these stories-maids, milliners, factory girls, and even some "ladies"-appear virtuous and respectable but turn out to be too passionate and sensual. Often they are more the seducers than the seduced. Ellen Merton, the heroine of the novel, is described as a young and beautiful country maiden, trusting, simple, pure, but also too ardent and passionate in her attachments.