Eva Smith's Diary and Revolution in Labor

Categories: Revolution

1st September 1910

I’ve just got back from my summer vacation. It was lovely. I’m really looking forward to going again next year. Life’s looking up at the moment. It’s great! Just one problem though, the money I’m receiving at the factory. I’ve spoken to quite a few other girls on vacation and they earn much more than twenty-two and six. I’ll speak to Mr. Birling tomorrow to ask him about raising it to 25 shillings a week.

I don’t see why not myself. I’m a good worker and have been in the factory over a year. We’ll just have to see what he says.

12th September 1910

That’s it! I’m not taking any more. A few other girls and me, who are sick of the terrible money, are going on strike. He’ll have to raise our weekly wage then won’t he; well if he doesn’t I’m not carrying on working for him.

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He’s a mean man, and only cares for himself, wants all the money. It’s not very often I get annoyed I don’t like to call people and say nasty things about them, but I really have had enough today. This man has really angered me. I’m an excellent, hard, pleasant worker.

How dare he have the cheek to say no! I told his this afternoon for the 6th time in the past 2 days, that because I was being promoted to leading operator I would at least expect a pay rise.

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His reply was the same, that it was his duty to keep labour costs down. His exact answer if I remember was; “I’ve told you again and again Eva, every time you’ve asked me. It’s my duty to keep labour costs down. I don’t know why the hell you waste your time bothering me when you could be working – earning good money for my factor. The answers a straight no, so get out of my office girl. Get back to your bleeding work.” What a lovely charming man Mr. Birling is, oh great is he.

28th September 1910

A few other girls and me were back at work today after the strike. Mr. Birling came down to us “Clear your stuff out girls, you’re not welcome here any more. I’m having non of this nonsense about pay rise.” He said. I was shocked; it was an absolute disgrace. I’ve got to find a new job now. The first thing that comes up I will take because I’m really broke.

2nd December 1910

Today was my first day at Millwards. The customers and the shop assistance I worked with were all really friendly. I enjoyed working for once. Beautiful clothes and smart people surrounded me. The pay is a little bit better than at the factory; well of course it would be because Mr. Birling is just a tight, stuck-up old man! He only cares about money. I have no idea how his wife can live with him, I certainly never could. I had the most wonderful meal at Millwards. I’m so happy! I feel like someone again and not something.

28th January 1911

I can’t believe this; I’ve been sacked from Millwards. This is terrible. Somebody complained about me… How could they complain about me though? I haven’t done anything wrong at all. Someone’s obviously been making up a pack of lies, haven’t they? Yet again, I’m cold, hungry, soon homeless if I don’t get some money together, all because I’ve been sacked for the second time. My life’s not worth living. Every time something good happens it always ends up going wrong. I want a fresh start, I believe things will be better then. And I’m going to start the changes by changing my name to… Daisy Renton.

4th March 1911

I really don’t want to go through with this, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to. I’ll end up starving, becoming really weak and ill otherwise, so I’m taking a trip to The Palace Bar. I don’t know what it’s like in there; I’ve never been in before. I didn’t have any interest in that place, but now… It’s different now. It’s my only hope, my last hope before I give up, give up for good.

5th March 1911

First a bad idea going to The Palace Bar, but it turned out for the best. Gerald… Oh he’s wonderful, just perfect! The name makes me get lots of butterflies! It was a bad idea first because this horrible, fat man that smelt of alcohol and sweat came up t me. He wedged me into a corner. I was very scared; I had no idea what he was going to try to do to me. I was panicking, really flustered, scanning the room for some help when my eyes fixed upon this man… He was about 5ft 9′, slim face, good looking, well dressed, looked my age with a huge smile on his face as I glanced into his deep brown eyes, pleading with him to take care of me.

He told his old, horrible, fat man that had me pinned into a corner that someone was on the phone asking for him. This man, the thing told me to stay right where I was. He would be back soon. He gave me the creeps.

The stunning man introduced himself to me as Gerald. He smiled all the time while he spoke to me. I wanted to get to know this man, Gerald. It was wonderful just talking to him! It made my day. He took me to the County Hotel where I had a few port and lemonades, which he kindly brought for me. I was still a little shaken and upset because of “Joe Meggarty,” well that’s what Gerald told me his name was.

Gerald was friendly and he seemed interested in my life. He sat there quite happily listening to me. I hoped Gerald didn’t feel sorry for me, that is not what I wanted. I let it slip that I was hard up and really hungry, Gerald being kind hearted and obviously from a good family insisted on buying me some food. We’ve arranged to meet up on the 7th March.

June 29th 1911

I’ve got a nice little room in Morgan Terrace, and Gerald’s given me some money to live on. I was really grateful but didn’t know how I could pay him back. I don’t think he wanted paying back, but me being who I am, I felt I had to. If I don’t find a way to then I’m going to stop taking money from him. For the best.

14th September 1911

I’ve had enough of this place; I need to go away and come back, making a fresh start. Gerald and me well we’re finished with, theirs no more Gerald and me, just me. Daisy Renton – Trying to get on with her life. No money, no family, no one to love me, no one for me to love, no job, no house, no happiness. I could go on, I don’t think I have anything to look forward to. I’ve decided to book a holiday at the seaside for two weeks, not that I’ve got the money. I’ll find it from somewhere. See how the holiday goes. Forget everything, well… I could try. No harm in trying is there?

6th November 1911

I have no money, nothing. I feel terrible. Words can’t express how I feel. Words are nothing compared to my feelings at the moment. Any day now, I’m right on the edge and I’m going to jump, taking my own life with me. One other hope I’ve got left is The Palace Bar again. I’m not sure I really want to go they’re again, but I honestly don’t have any more suggestions to earning money. And personally I don’t have the energy to think. I need a good night’s sleep where I’m not waking up every 10 minutes, scared, cold and hungry.

7th November 1911

There was a nice young man at The Palace Bar last night. I’m not going to get my hopes up. I have no idea what he saw in me! The other girls were showing of every little bit of flesh they could, flirting, smiling, really pretty girls. Me, I was sitting near the back of the Bar, wearing a long brown coat, looking like my usual glum self. Feeling sorry for my self you could say. When this young man walked up to me and asked what a beautiful girl like myself was doing in a place like this. He brought me a few drinks; he had rather a lot though. He took me back to my lodgings, he insisted that he did. I didn’t want him to come in though; he turned really nasty with me, I saw a different side to him. I’m very frail and couldn’t fight to get him out of my room so I didn’t bother. Well what happened next is going to be very obvious to anyone. He forced me into my room, and what did I think he was going to demand next? At the end of the night he said good bye and went. I didn’t expect him to remember my name or where I lived though. I mean he was really drunk, I don’t think he will remembered anything the in morning. Probably wake up in the gutter somewhere.

15th November 1911

I popped down to the local shop to buy bread, butter and milk. The basic things any woman needs to live on. And you will never guess who I bumped into? Eric Birling! I took him home with me, I felt like he wasn’t going to demand anything of me this time. We talked for a while and he told me a bit about himself. After we talked, it happened again. This time it was much more meaningful and I can actually say I enjoyed it.

23rd December 1911

Oh gosh… I’ve found out something dreadful and I’m going to tell Eric today. I’m pregnant! I’m not 100% sure, but I’m quite sure. And it’s his; I know that for a fact. I don’t think he’ll take it too well. He doesn’t seem the type for settling down and having a family. He just likes to get drunk and what he calls enjoying himself. Not much enjoyment in his life is there? I really don’t know what to do, I mean a baby? I can hardly look after myself, never mind another person to care for. Well, I’ll just have to see how Eric reacts to the news. I’m sure he won’t take it very well. This isn’t looking good.

25th December 1911

Christmas day, the worst Christmas I’ve had really. It could be worse though really couldn’t it? Eric was really shocked about the baby; he kept asking me “Is it really mine, Daisy?” I mean what sort of woman does he think I am? Well, yes, I’m sure it’s his, I’m positive! I’m not sure what to do though – with the baby. I haven’t a clue how I’m going to cope. I don’t know if I want my life to go on any longer, how I’d end it I don’t know.

1st January 1911

It’s new years day, everyone’s happy and having celebrations with their family. I’m just sitting in my lodgings on my own. The days are dragging on and I’m just waiting for a miracle to happen. I don’t believe in those though. If you want something you’ve got to get of your backside and go get them! I’ve done that too often though, tried to go out and get them, and now to tell you the truth I give up. I’m pregnant and have had two lovers which have both ended in tears, lost my two jobs that I had, no money, no food and will be kicked out of my lodgings soon if I don’t find some way of coping.

15th March 1911

No miracles have happened unfortunately. My life’s as unpleasant as ever. I’m feeling terrible because of the pregnancy and also because I’m not getting the right food. Especially as I’m feeding for two people at the moment. I talk to the baby sometimes; it’s my only friend. I even talk to myself. I’m locked up in the lodgings most of the time because I hate going out, being seen by people that I used to see everyday. Letting them see what a state I am. Everyone will be talking about me saying that I can’t look after myself, never mind a baby as well.

They don’t know the whole story though. It’s just not my fault that I’m pregnant. I shouldn’t have let Eric into my lodgings. I regret everything, right from the start when I asked for a pay rise at the factory. I sit there dreaming sometimes, thinking to my self – what if…? What if I’d never got sacked? I’d never met Gerald, or Eric? I’d never got pregnant; I wonder what I’d be doing today? Well I can dream what I’d like to be doing all I like. You can’t turn back the clock. I’m just going to have to forget what happened which will be very easy to do. I’ll never, ever again remember a thing…

17th March 1911

I’ve done it; soon I will not remember a thing. I’ll be resting peacefully. Finally I’ll be happy. I won’t feel guilty; I don’t have any family. I don’t need to leave a note to try and explain to anyone about what I’ve done. The only thing I feel slightly guilty for is my baby. Who would want their son or daughter growing up, knowing that they will be ill because of no food, no roof above their head. I don’t want that. I don’t want my child not having the advantages that other children have; that other children take advantage of. Waking up everyday with a roof above their head, breakfast on the table for them, loving parents that are there for them when they need help or are feeling down.

Everyone takes advantage of everything they own, even their lives. They don’t realize it until they’ve lost those things they love and care about though. Then it will suddenly hit them like a ton of bricks. People should learn to love what they have, but me, I can’t go on any longer trying to be happy for what I have. I don’t have anything, so I can’t try to be happy. I’ve tried too many times, and now – I’m giving up trying. I’m weak and so far I’ve lost everything apart from my life. Which soon I will also be loosing…

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Eva Smith's Diary and Revolution in Labor. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/eva-smiths-diary-and-revolution-in-labor-essay

Eva Smith's Diary and Revolution in Labor

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