London Labour and the London Poor Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What percentage of people earning their living on the streets were vendors?

2. What is one thing positive Mayhew says about crossing sweeps?

3. What did costermongers hope to do by dark everyday?`

4. Why were chimney sweeper apprentices often starved?

5. On what day of the week were regular customers allowed to stay free in some lodging houses?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who hired dustmen and how did they do their work?

2. What did mudlarks do and how did they bathe?

3. Where did orphan or runaway coster children live and how did they get money?

4. Who were generally managers of lodging houses and what happened to a child who did not have the money for lodging?

5. How did Jewish traders survive in London and how does Mayhew portray the Jewish traders?

6. Where did most costermongers and their families live

7. What was the story Mayhew told about a crossing sweep from Dublin?

8. How much money did sifters make, what did they do and why did they do it?

9. What did bolder boys do with coal barges, how was this viewed and what could happen to the boys? How did the boys feel about jail?

10. Describe the facilities that were opened between 1847 and 1849 that caused the chimney sweeps to wash more often.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Vagrants were those who loitered in the streets with no work or occupation. Mayhew described them as, "Youths, prostitutes, Irish families and professional beggars." Many were young men between 12 and 20 years old, whom Mayhew described as budding criminals.

1. How does Mayhew's statement about vagrants demonstrate his tendency to generalize groups of people. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. Do you think all vagrants were budding criminals? Why or why not? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. Why do you think Mayhew specifically mentions Irish families in his writing about vagrants and budding criminals? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

One magician worked as an errand boy for four years until at 14 he began to sell oranges outside a theater. From there he went to selling beer inside the theater, to being an extra on stage, to acting at the age of 15. After the show closed, he worked as the doorkeeper until the owner mentioned an opening for a magician. With no knowledge, skill or experience, he volunteered for the position.

1. Discuss this magician's story in terms of the rag to riches stories which were prevalent in America in this era. (This answer may require some research). Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. Do you think this magician's story seems to suggest that anyone of the London poor could do better if they would just work at it? Why or why not? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. What might people in dire straits in modern America learn from this story? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Bolder boys sometimes climbed onto empty coal barges and swept up the leavings of the cargo. This was considered theft, and they were usually chased off by the owners. Sometimes one would be arrested and sent to jail for a week. Like coster children, they regarded a week in relatively warm, safe surroundings with regular meals as a vacation.

1. Do you think the sweepings of coal left behind should be considered theft? Why or why not? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. Discuss what the fact that some children regarded the jail as a vacation says about the coster children's lives. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. Discuss ways in which you see coster children as being abused in general in this era in London. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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