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The Problem of Unemployment

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Nastya Gilevich

on 15 June 2015

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Transcript of The Problem of Unemployment

The Problem of Unemployment
in "Angel Pavement"

Mr. Smeeth
"The shadow of dismissal,
, degradation, ruin, had gone..."
"Thirry years - thirry
-in the trade, that's me"
"D'you think, Mr. Smeeth, there'll be any chance of a rise, now I'm getting all this extra work? [...] I mean, I'm not getting a lot really, am I?"
"And if you could - just - you know - say something to Mr. Golspie or Mr. Dersingham, because, you know, Mr. Smeeth, I am doing my best, and you mustn't think I want to grumble, 'cos I don't."
Miss Matfield
The daughter of professional gentleman, condescended to the office and the typewriting.
"...this apprenticeship business is coming on us because it's working for nothing..."
Historical Background
The Great Depression
A period of national economic downturn in the 1930s.
Britain's largest and most profound economic depression of the 20th century.
Originated in the US in late 1929 and quickly spread to the world.

Britain's world trade fell in half.
The unemployment rate rose to 30% (in some areas up to 70%)
3 million people out of work nationally, many more had only part-time employment.
"Hadn't he just sacked
oldest man, Goath?"
Mr. Smeeth
Unemployment in the novel
The high unemployment and poverty of the time constantly haunts the small workforce.

"Twigg & Dersingham" experiencing a sales decline, partly as a result of the unfavourable economic climate.
Claridge & Molton
"And up to 18 months ago, I'd have told you that Claridge and Molton was one of the soundest concerns in the business. And look at 'em now. [...]. Absolutely down the river."
Firms collapse like a house of cards
Replacement of Goath
"-This tells you something about the old country, doesn't it?
- It's only the
- As far as I can see from this lot, you can have the pick of England's talent for 4 or 5 quid a week. "

"...He felt triumphant, proud, a solid and
man among a lot of

"...not unlike him... a man with a wife and family and vanishing possessions; a man who time after time had found himself the last in the group, waiting in the corner , with the hope inspired by the letter, the letter that came thunderingly, triumphantly, that morning, like an act of deliverance, now dying in him."
Full transcript