French Worker

Topics: Family, Bourgeoisie, Mother Pages: 3 (1251 words) Published: April 16, 2012
The French Worker
To other people around the world, everyday life of Americans may seem luxurious. Americans wake up, go to their jobs, go home to their families, and then go to bed.  Americans tend to complain about how hard life is, however, some Americans have reason to gripe because they are facing extreme financial issues and even homelessness due to today’s depressed economy.  This still does not compare to the life of the everyday “French Worker”. During the late 1700s through 1860s, people of lower class had difficult living conditions and had to fight for survival. Mark Traugott vividly depicts the life of the French lower class and the French worker in his The French Worker: Autobiographies From The Early Industrial Era. In his book, the difficult situations of life, including struggles within the family and the constant moving around, are detailed through the stories of seven French workers. The lower class families were referred to as the Third Estate of France. 96% of France population was the Third Estate (Lecture). The Third Estate struggled every day, one of the many difficult situations that the French faced in the early 19th century was relationships among families. During this time, the system, families were accustom to a son learning his father’s trade, at a young age the son would start working as an apprentice, this allowed the family to be together for the majority of the day. During the Industrial Revolution families began to see a new system, one in which fathers would go off and leave their families for work. This caused major changes in the family and caused family relationships to weaken. The French Worker begins by discussing Jacques Etienne Bede family struggles.

Like many others, the life of Bede was very difficult; his relationship with his mother and his sister was a very distant one. Bede was the fourth child and therefore he received very little attention from his mother, Bede felt that his mother did not love him which...
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