English Blog

Detroit & Book Two April 6, 2010

Filed under: Detroit,Middlesex — writing4english @ 7:46 PM

Detroit was once a booming metropolis on the Detroit River across from Canada. That was the days of when Detroit was the home of Ford and the Rogue Plant. Ford was the workhorse that drove the city. People moved from all around the country, particularly the south, for a job oppurtunity in Detroit. Not many people were turned away as there was a surplus of jobs at the Rogue Plant. Ford could hire people and basically make them interchangeable parts. “Through the hanging smoke, Lefty saw other streetcars letting off other workers, hundreds and hundreds of gray figures trudging across the paved courtyard toward the factory gates. Trucks were driving past, and Lefty let himself be taken along with the flow of the nex shift, fifty, sixty, seventy thousand men hurrying last cigarettes or getting in final words – becauseas they approached the factory they’d begun to speak again, not because they had anything to say but because beyond those doors language wasn’t allowed” (Eugenides 94). The Ford Motor Company made people into lifeless, gray, robotic humans. They were trained to do their job efficiently enough to coincide with the tasks being performed around him. “Every fourteen secons Wierzbicki reams a bearing and Stephanides grinds a bearing and O’Malley attaches a bearing to a camshaft” (Eugenides 95). If this task took longer than fourteen seconds Ford had the power, and the supply of lifeless humans, to find the problem, get rid of the problem, and get a new person to take over to solve the problem. If one person worked too fast co-workers would take notice. “After the foreman had gone, O’Malley looked both ways and leaned over to whisper, ‘Don’t try to be a speed king. You understand? We all have to work faster that way'” (Eugenides 98). People didn’t want to work faster than they already had to, and so, made sure that everyone knew each others work intentions.

-Jeffrey Senecal


One Response to “Detroit & Book Two”

  1. Got it, Jeffrey.

    ~Jenna G.

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