English Blog

Furdy in the boro April 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — writing4english @ 6:11 PM

At times Middlesex seems to be geared toward the more personal emotions of its characters. However, I can’t help but ponder about  the character’s experiences in a larger context of their new home. Sometimes when I take sociological perspective on this novel, it gives me a better understanding of what really is really going on. For instance, when Lefty gets a job at the Rouge factory in Detroit, the author makes a stunning statement ” Historical fact: people stopped being human in 1913. That was the year Henry Ford put his cars on rollers and made his workers adopt the speed of the assembly line” (Eugenides 95). However the Rouge factory did more than manufacture cars. When workers entered the Rogue factory they were transformed into mindless humans that carried out redundant tasks within the assembly line. As the laborers worked arduously, they were watched and observed to ensure optimum efficiency. Outside of the Rogue factory, the workers were forced to conform to the “American Norm” which was enforced by clients of Henry Ford. Lefty was visited by these clients of  Ford, and was basically discriminated for his cultural differences. With little choice but unemployment, Lefty conformed for the most part, which became obvious at the Melting Pot Ceremony. In a sociological perspective it is safe to say that Henry Ford nearly enforced a “total institution” on his workers. An example of a total institution would be the military for instance. Henry Ford’s policies made his workers maintain hygiene, eat certain food, wear specific clothing, and maintain an expected standard of living. All in all I believe that Lefty, Desdemona, and their family experiences’ in Detroit can be well understood by taking a look at the society as a whole. But in my opinion, society can be really stupid sometimes.

Kevin Cunningham


8 Responses to “Furdy in the boro”

  1. I like how you put the factory in a sociologists perspective.. its interesting!!! and i agree society can be really stupid sometimes !!!
    – Geri Gabrielson

  2. Yeah I agree society can be pretty ridiculous. Good explanation of Henry Ford and his “ways.”

    ~Alexandria V.

  3. It is amazing how America is supposed to be the land of the free and land where everyone can live happy, but with Ford and his plants the people were not living happy. Maybe they were happy to receive the pay, but I am sure that they weren’t happy doing what they were doing. Historical fact: people stopped being human in 1913. How could anyone be happy living like that, but I suppose it was what they had to do to survive.

    -Arielle K.

  4. Good job you explain everything well but maybe throw a few more quotes in it to give specific details. Explain how Ford expected all this out of his workers that he was going to give the five dollar a day to. But very interesting take on the book!


  5. i totally agree, when people moved there and started to work for places like Ford, they lost everything that made them stand out and just became another person.

    -Jordan Houtby

  6. I like how you string your point of view throughout the post but by using different examples. How people stopped being human and Henry Ford controlled them like they were in the military. It’s like they had no choice since they needed the money.

    Lori E. Allan

  7. Very good, Kevin. Not “corny” at all! As we briefly mentioned in class, there is a lot of stuff about wars in the book. You tie together Ford and the military through machinery, which is actually a very complicated perspective. Really nice work.

    ~Jenna G.

  8. (and if you want to get all sociological on it, think about how this relates to bees in a hive and what that means for “society”)


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