The woman who wanted help in her housework em- ployed a "hired girl
" who insisted on sitting at the table with the family.
"I'm Nancy, the hired girl
. I do all the work except the washin' an' hard ironin'.
He'd get her a hired girl
this time and let her have her own head about things.
"If you say you can't afford a hired girl
when Mattie goes."
Is there a strike in the o-ver-all factory; or hev they hired girls
, ye Shackamaxons?"
It is devoutly Christian Joan, in Laura Amy Schlitz's spectacular Newbery Award-winning book The Hired Girl
, who, through her vivid diary entries, provides an extraordinary view into turn-of-the-century Jewish life in America.
Discovering money that her mother had sewn into the dress of her favourite doll, Joan flees to Baltimore to find work as a hired girl
. A kindly gentleman finds her sleeping in the park and takes her to his family who employ her to work alongside their elderly maid, Malka.
Because the author authentically writes in early twentieth century conversational language, and because The Hired Girl
is in diary form, the prose initially sounds a bit staid.
And this is why, in The Hired Girl
, the farmer's daughter wises up and escapes the farm toil, striking out on her own to push back against the societal, cultural and patriarchal confines that threaten the rest of her days.
One night, she slips away while the hired girl
, standing in front of the window, does a strip show.
I have burned tons upon tons of Leavenworth coal and tore loose enough cinders to pave the state of Kansas and have shouted, 'Come on boys, help us tighten the belt,' until I have about lost faith in mankind and fell in love with the hired girl
because she had on a clean apron ..."
If Jim Burden had become a historian (I'm reminded of hired girl
Tiny Soderball's words to him: "Maybe you'd like to be a professor" ) rather than a railroad lawyer, and had a more fruitful marriage and become a father, and if we were reading about him subsequent to World War I rather than immediately prior to it (when he supposedly writes his memoir of his childhood and Antonia), he might, indeed, be Godfrey St.
"I seem to have believed that a penis was at maximum size all the time, and in its classic shape, but in spite of this could be kept dangling down inside the leg of the pants, not hoisted up to put pressure against another body in this way." In "Hired Girl
," the narrator realizes that despite her sense of being humiliated by the rich, it was she who wanted to shame, humiliate and hurt the wealthy woman who hired her: "Cruelty was a thing I could not recognize in myself.
Later, in a comedy of errors, a lost baby sister magically reappears on the Canadian border; an unsuccessful father finds peace at an iron foundry; a hired girl
summers with a glamorous family; this same girl goes to college; and, as a woman, she confronts cancer.
When Katy is almost eight, she accompanies her father on a trip to the countryside to bring home their new hired girl
, Peggy, and briefly glimpses Peggy's "touched" younger brother, Jacob, who is 13.