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Primary Source Focus Questions - Essay Example

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Beeton’s Book of Household Management, what qualities made a good servant and what duties were expected of domestics? What qualities made a good mistress? What does Beeton infer are some of the most typical problems that exist between masters and servants?…
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Download file to see previous pages Duties that masters and mistresses expected from their servants include retaining honesty and overall morality in the house. According to Mrs. Beeton, one of the most important qualities of a good mistress is her ability to engage her servant. Another quality is informing her friends and relatives of an empty house through friendly domestics and a relatively lasting willpower (Clark 415). Beeton says some of the most typical issues that exist between masters and servants are decadence and somewhat disposed attitudes towards each other. Beeton’s instructions tell modern readers of the radical change in relationships between household owners and their house cleaners within a span of hundred and fifty years. However, the instructions do not portray any contemporary relevance since this culture was completely abandoned during the twentieth century.
1) In The Ladies Paradise, how is the department store personified (i.e. portrayed) and what do you think this says about the new culture of 19th C consumerism? What challenges and advantages did shop-girls like Denise face?
The writer gives the department store the features of a monster-like apparatus and personifies it. The book portrays the department store as a “continual cascade of materials” flowing alongside the rumble of a river (Zola 36). This portrayal of the department stores paints the image of the 1800s Parisian department store by using numerous definitive pictures. These pictures allow Zola to make an unambiguous comparison between what a customer views at the store and what took place behind the curtains. Challenges Denise faced as a shop girl include supporting her orphan siblings by working at the kid’s section of the store and the store’s uninviting working conditions. However, Denise benefited from the “match of progress” and her immunity to shopping desires (Zola 41).
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