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Word Count: 927
An Individuals Escape From Exploitation Michael Ondaatjes novel In the Skin of a Lion depicts some of the hardships faced by the working class in the early part of the century It is a seemingly pro-working class novel that portrays exploitation and unfairness by the upper class The novel then would be expected to offer some resolution for the working class but it does not Instead of giving a solution for the class as a whole the novel offers two answers for the individual within the working class--through entrepuenership and the family Throughout the novel Ondaatje portrays the exploitation of the working class When they are building the bridge at the beginning of the novel the workers would huddle together walking in groups of three or four Many had already died during the building of the bridge 39 However while these men were risking their lives for very little pay Harris the Commissioner wears an expensive tweed coat that cost more than the combined weeks salaries of five bridge workers 43 This example shows the huge gap between the working class and the capitalist class In addition Ondaatje portrays companies as not caring for their workers Clara talks about her father as having been killed setting charges in a feldspar minebecause the company had tried to go too deep and the section above him collapsed 74 Ondaatje thinks that there is a lack of concern in corporations for workers in that the companies treat workers as expendable The workers who are constructing the waterworks are forced to operate under conditions which the are depicted as disgusting All morning they slip in the wet clay unable to stand properly pissing where they work eating where
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