Some time during my undergrad, I read Emile Zola’s “Germinal”, a novel about class struggle in a coal mining town. Even though I’d grown up in a factory town, I never really understood what working as a labourer for a large corporation did to one’s psyche. I grew up on the white collar side of the tracks, so to speak. I didn’t understand the sense of powerlessness that one feels when his life is inextricably tied to the whims and fortunes of the corporation.
Although our modern lives are far less desperate than those depicted in Zola’s novel, the theme of struggle and exploitation resonates today… more and more, it seems.
I’m a teacher, husband and father. I live in the real world: the world of family and struggle – the world where people live paycheck to paycheck – the imperfect, dysfunctional, glorious world of those who struggle in the Coal Mine.