What were the working conditions in the tavern?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A reader should look to chapters 3 and 4 for answers to this question. In general, working conditions are tough but fair. The owner of Cutler's Tavern expects her employees to work long, hard hours, but Lyddie is also given clothing, food, and shelter in exchange. That might seem unfair, but keep in mind that Lyddie was hired out in order to pay back family debts in the first place. Mistress Cutler is Lyddie's boss, and Mistress Cutler is a tough taskmaster. She has a business to run that depends on customer happiness, and Mistress Cutler pushes Lyddie nonstop to make sure that those customers are kept happy. We are told that Mistress Cutler watches Lyddie very closely to make sure that nothing goes to waste or is stolen. Fortunately, Lyddie is used to hard work, so going to bed late, sleeping in the hall, and waking up early are things that Lyddie takes on without complaint. Her efforts are noticed by the "pink silk lady," who tells Lyddie that she would do well in the mills and would earn far more than she is earning now. The thought is intriguing, but Lyddie doesn't act upon it right away. She continues to peel potatoes, milk cows, make sugar, make syrup, and scrub pots from dawn until dusk until she finally decides to head to the factories, where her work ethic will actually earn her some real money.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial