Slootsky 1Mathew Slootsky Professor RauchEnglish 10113 December 2018Social Injustice within Yonnondio: From the ThirtiesYonnondio: From the Thirties, a novel written by Tillie Olsen, protests the injustices and imperfections of the early nineteen-hundreds, ranging from violence to frugality. Yonnondiotells the story of a working-class family struggling with unemployment, workplace hazards, illness, industrial strikes, and poverty. Yonnondio truly shows Olsen’s rejection of the prevailing orders of industrial capitalism. The different themes from Yonnondiotruly help readers visualize the difficulties that the Holbrooks faced, and even tempt the readers to imagine themselves in similarsituations. The Holbrooks were faced with mental, physical, and psychological rigors throughout their lives and had a strong thirst for something stable. The Holbrooks are a very dubious and poor working family living in a mining town who experience relentless injustice of women, maltreatment of workers, prejudice towards the lower class, and inequality during the early twentieth century to name a few. Probably the most stand-out aspect of the book, especially when compared to today’s society is the portrayal of the patriarchy alongside the oppression of women. Anna and Mazie, two of the main characters of the novel, are consistently degraded throughout the story. Anna is raped by her own husband, bringing to light how male action is overlooked. Mazie has to work, even as a young girl, while her brother Will gets to play outside. Another distinction is the space that the women of the story get. While Mazie and Anna have almost no room for themselves, the boys have their own rooms. This confinement that the two feel clearly represents how women
Slootsky 2were also mentally and physically confined in society. It comes as no surprise that the happiest moments for Anna is when she is freely walking through the streets. This maltreatment of women shows the sexism and misogyny adopted by people of the early twentieth century, which hasn’t been abandoned almost a century later. This idea also morphs into what the lifestyles of these families are. For example, Anna loves and takes care of her children, but since she is deprived of equality and beaten by her own husband, in turn, she beats them.Education is another very important theme of the story and plays a huge role in society. Anna sees education as a way for her children to escape their present situation. Since Anna finds education to be so essential, she pushes it onto her children at every opportunity she gets. Although the Holbrook children are bright, they do not do very well in school. This lack of performance is probably due to the many internal issues of the family. They experience severe poverty and humiliation, which deeply affects the inclination of the children to learn. Struggling with malnourishment also has a great effect on the education of the children. It seems that the educational system itself seeks to discourage poor people from learning.