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Although the factory is larger and nosier than the farm, Lyddie is not happy in either place. Still, she finds independence in the factory by standing up for herself.
Lyddie left the farm to go to the city for opportunity, but she had little choice. Lyddie and her brother are isolated in the cabin, but Lyddie is also isolated in the factory. Although she is surrounded by people, she has no one. She has escaped one prison for another.
Both the factory and the farm are dangerous, but the difference is that the danger at the farm comes from wild animals like bears, and the danger at the factory is man-made, coming from unsafe working conditions.
“How can I even stand straight and look out upon the world? I am doubled over into myself and, for all the weight, find only emptiness.” (ch 19, p. 148)
One of the main differences is that while Lyddie was powerless on the farm and then powerless in the factory, in the factory she found a way to take power by joining the workers’ rights movement and advocating for safer factory conditions. She was able to escape her prison, go to college, and have a life.
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