How does the industrial era affect lyddie ?  

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the novel first begins, Lyddie lives with her family in a small country home. The family is eventually forced to sell the house, and Lyddie is essentially forced into being an indentured servant at a tavern in order to pay back loans. While working there, Lyddie meets a woman that appears wealthy, confident, and independent. Lyddie is smitten with this woman, and the woman explains to Lyddie that she is a factory girl. Lyddie will eventually get fired from the tavern, and she decides to go to Lowell and be a factory girl. At this point, Lyddie has become another member/victim of the "industrial era." Mechanized machinery and the emergence of factories at this time caused cities to grow quickly as people moved from the country to live in the city close to a job that pays workers actual wages. This is exactly what happened to Lyddie in the novel. A large portion of the novel from this point forward shows readers what working conditions were like in the mills during this time period. Lyddie is worked hard over long hours in dangerous conditions; however, she also makes a decent wage and is an independent woman. That was not something that was likely to have happened had she stayed out in the country working some farm as a wife of some farmer.