How has Lyddie's proficiency affected her salary in Lyddie?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lyddie gets paid more when she becomes proficient because she gets paid by the piece.

Ever since she lost the farm and her family was split up, Lyddie has worried about money. She gave what little money she had to Ezekial, an escaped slave. Then she was fired from the tavern. This led her to get a job at the factory, where she felt more in control of her own destiny. 

When her roomates go home for the summer holiday, Lyddie comforts herself by hoping that she can use this as an opportunity to make more money. She does not really have a home to return to.

I may earn even more. If the weaving room is short of workers, Mr. Marsden may assign me another loom. Then I could turn out many more pieces each week. For she was proficient now. Weeks before she had begun tending her own loom without Diana's help. (Ch. 11)

After working at the factory for a short time, Lyddie no longer needed Diana’s help. Not only could she run a loom on her own, but she felt that she could handle another one too. Lyddie was willing to do anything for just a little more money.

The pay reflected her proficiency. She was making almost $2.50 a week above her $1.75 board. While the other girls grumbled that their piece rates had dropped so that it had hardly been worth slaving through the summer heat, she kept her silence. (Ch. 11)

Lyddie is a hard worker and values independence. She believes that if she works hard and saves money, she will eventually be able to pay off the family’s debts. Then, she hopes she can get her family back together on the farm.  Her brother works for a mill, and her mother and two littlest sisters went to her aunt’s house.

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