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 did the two orphan girls whose story Mayhew told sell?

2. What did Mayhew think of the reason for wealthier people to become patterers?

3. What is one thing crossing sweeps did for tips?

4. How did Mike manage to live?

5. What did the crossing sweep who Mayhew interviewed work at before finding an open intersection?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did dustmen and mudlarks help each other?

2. What were the general appearance of chimney sweeps and who most often worked in this type of work and why did they?

3. What types of generalizations did Mayhew make about the London street people and how did this reflect Victorian thinking on industrialization?

4. Who normally held a crossing sweep position and how was that job viewed? How did the crossing sweep have to eat sometimes?

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

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

7. What were some of the circumstances in the better lodging houses for the street people?

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

9. How did crossing sweeps earn a living?

10. About how much coal was used in London in a year and who was responsible for cleaning the aftermath of coal use?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The emaciated, depressed man with sunken eyes and wrinkles had worked as a clown for 16 years. He would prefer to be a groom or a police officer, anything except a clown. However, now that he had a wife and children to support, he clowned from 8 am to dark every day for 6 shillings per week. Ashamed, he hid his occupation from the neighbors.

1. Discuss the symptoms of depression you think is evident in this clown's story. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. How would being ashamed of a person's occupation affect the quality of his or her life? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. Discuss the ways in which this clown could be considered courageous for persisting in a job that he hated and was ashamed of for the benefit of his wife and children. 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

Mayhew made sweeping generalizations about the different types of street people, and often relied on stereotypes. For example, he claimed that all blind musicians were highly religious while all "mechanics" or skilled laborers were melancholy, suffering from chronic depression.

1. Refute or defend the following statement: Stereotypes about people are generally true. Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

2. How do you think stereotyping or generalization in research can affect the results of research? Use examples from the text and your own life to support your answer.

3. The only statement that can be true about a research population is if that population consist of only one person. Discuss this statement in view of Mayhew's tendency to stereotype groups of individuals.

(see the answer keys)

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