We mentioned at the end of last class this notion of the North vs. the South, or the Country vs. the Metropolis. This was evident in Brambles tangent in the opening pages of the second volume. Although too long to quote the entire passage, his illustrative ramblings captured his disdain towards the newly immigrated country peoples, as they appeared to maliciously affect every element of his life, starting with the moment he woke up. It almost seems like he’s likening the City to the Sirens of Homer- luring in its victims with songs and fancy, only to be painfully awoken by reality. The people venturing to the city dreamed of a sedentary life with few duties, a substantial change from their previous lives of raising livestock and crops. “They desert their dirt and drudgery, and swarm up to London, in hopes of getting into service, where they can live luxuriously and wear fine clothes, without being obliged to work…” But like with the Sirens they awake to find a life of misery, eating bread for example, that, “…is a deleterious paste, mixed up with chalk, alum, and bone-ashes; insipid to the taste, and destructive to the constitution.” But what’s most striking about the bread example, which Bramble points out, is that the people could be eating hardy bread, but instead choose the bleached substitute, as it’s more appealing to the eyes. They’re so obsessed with this notion of “Luxury”, that they’re willing to sacrifice just about anything as to appear luxurious. This strikes a chord with me when I think of our credit-driven, materialistic society. The people that ate the pasty bread are the same people today who eat something because the packaging says it’s “fancy” or “European”. As for Luxury, one could drive through many lower socio-economic regions of the country and find a great percentage of homes with flat screens on their walls and Escalades in the driveway. Like those wanting all the spoils without the effort in the book though, the modern-day man will also realize a life of despair, as they’re hounded by creditors and all their “toys” get repossessed.