• Students could argue that the comments reflect the interests and perceptions of elites, and that to a modern eye there is more aesthetic beauty in the scene than these commentators indicate.
• Students might conclude that the factory setting and the clothing and demeanor of the
women and indicate an honest portrayal of factory life.
• Students could also argue that the scene has an idyllic quality that may be misleading, with women happily socializing during one of the few moments of rest in a long day of labor. They are in simple but clean attire on a brick-paved square that gives no indication of the squalor and overcrowding common in many urban neighborhoods.
• Missing from the scene is the squalor of urban life. None of the women display injuries from their work, and the scene depicts one of the few periods of rest in a day dominated by intense labor.
Q. Why do you think Crowe set this scene outside the factory rather than within it?