My First Job by Rose - How can you compare that survivor’s first day on the job with the Army?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Assuming that what is meant by "Army" is Army boot camp,there can be some comparisons drawn regarding the regimentation and depersonalization in each arena. 

  • Both Rose and an Army recruit would feel much apprehension about their first day.
  • Young Rose must report at 5:00 am, which is the same time that recruits rise in Army boot camp.
  • Both Rose and Army recruits are under strict time restraints
  • There is a division of the workers into their assigned tasks; Army recruits are divided into small groups to accomplish training objectives. 
  • There is no conversing among the workers while on the job; likewise, Army recruits do not converse during training
  • Lunch is taken hurriedly in both cases, although Army recruits are fed a wholesome meal (while all that the women in the sweatshop had were rolls and poor Rose was ashamed to pull out her rye bread on the first day).
  • Both Rose and Army recruits pass long days under supervision although the recruits would be allowed short breaks "at ease" and conditions would not be as oppressive as those for Rose, who must stay longer than the other women.
  • Both Rose and Army recruits are sometimes subjected to derogatory remarks or other taunts, although Rose would have no recourse to remarks that were inappropriate or ethnically offensive, etc.
  • There is little time in Rose's or a recruit's life for privacy or recreation. 
  • Both Rose and the single recruit are just one of many; there is little, if any individual attention paid to them. Probably, there is none paid about their personal lives.