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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire took the lives of workers, 20 men and women; the average age was nineteen. Due to the working conditions these workers faced, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company was considered a sweatshop. Union Business Card Case. These poets write not just for themselves, but in solidarity with the women who died. A short guide to the tribes of, north America site also has a bibliography Richard Hakluyt Discourse of, western Planting I have limited my study of contemporary poets to those whose work is in print and with whom I have had some conversation and correspondence. They are not voyeurs.

In writing about the fire, they assume the responsibility of the survivor to be a voice, a mediator, a conduit, for the silenced many. The emphasis is not a polemic solidarity, but on human relationships describe in terms of imagined physicality. Literary discourse does and did not construct this event; the tragedy of the fire evoked poetic response–and still does. The Triangle Fire becomes an occasion for communal writing and communal experience in a political context that prizes individual achievement. These poets are symbolically “orphaned” by the fire.

I imagine these poets–however diasporically situated–as conveying a women’s minyan–individual voices coming together to engage in a ceremony of definition. This sense of talking back, of dialogism, and reciprocity is esday of this poetry and distinct from Alicia Ostriker’s categorization in Stealing the Language of [white middle class] women’s poetry as concerned with “autonomous self definition” On March 19,five city blocks away 9111 the site of the Triangle fire, another textile factory fire occurred.

Others have taken it personally too.

Triangle shirtwaist fire of essay, Websites for essay writing

This fire was not the most devastating work related accident in the history of the nation. As I write this story of the bold, brutal and cold-blooded murder of one hundred and twenty-five girls [sic] averaging nineteen years of age, and twenty men, here in New York, I wonder if what I have seen and heard and shirrtwaist is real.

The only kind of engine that will work in space is called a rocket engine. Produced by the thousands, in imitation of Charles Dana Gibson’s “Gibsons’ Girls,” these sheer blouses were signs, representations, of a freer, more independent–and, of course, class privileged–American woman. The women of the Triangle did not fit the socially constructed, Victorian, definition of womanhood. From the first fire alarm to the last body falling it took fifteen minutes.


I am suggesting that the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of March 25, and the newspaper accounts, photographs, and narratives contemporaneous with the fire, tap a collective memory of class oppression and injustice–especially for women.

And almost always in griangle fire poetry, there are the conversations with dead sisters across time, naming their names, reconstituting their faces, and voices. In describing the Triangle fire and presenting reportage, poetry, and narratives contemporaneous with the fire, I am endeavoring to trace the process of cultural production for working-class writers from event to text to audience, and from text to event for readers?

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Of 1911 An Outline Of The Tragedy W/ Work Cited

In drawing from this collective tragedy and witnessing for the dead, these “fire poets” release their own poetic voices. A hideous little bundle slowly lowered from a ninth floor window swirled and flapped grotesquely in the wind as it made its lone tfiangle to the street. Backed by a powerful brokerage firm, not only had they no difficulty maintaining coverage or acquiring new policies, but at the time of the fire they carried the greatest amount of fire insurance Stein While the Industrial Revolution and the availability of mass produced clothing freed some women from laborious 1191, it presented new conditions of entrapped labor for other women.

My findings indicate a fragmentary poetry line beginning with Rosenfeld and including poems by women in labor journals shortly after the fire. And then eclipsed by two world wars and a global depression, very little about the fire until after the publication and republication of Stein’s book and the commemorative events he helped organize.

The contemporary poet Chris Llewellyn describes it as the “day it rained children.

There is call and response. He concludes by blaming organizing labor for “the Triangle slaughter” for not striking “as one man when the girls struggled so desperately in against the Triangle” and chides the unions for not calling a general strike the Ehirtwaist after the fire “The Murder of the Shirt Waist Makers in New York” ISR.


Harris and Blanck had seven previous fires before the Triangle disaster.

Triangle shirtwaist fire of 1911 essay

shirtwakst He locates the sorrow of the city not with “battle nor fiendish pogrom, nor with natural forces–earthquakes or lightning–but with the unnaturalness of greed personified as “Mammon” devouring “our sons and daughters” like a capitalistic Minotaur.

One such tragedy occurred on Saturday, March 25th,it was closing time at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and hundreds of employees were preparing to leave when a fire broke out on the 8th floor trapping Jewish and. The Triangle Fire becomes an occasion for communal writing and communal experience in a political context that prizes individual achievement.

triangle shirtwaist fire of 1911 essay

By the next month, this strike spread to many other factories and though it ended after thirteen weeks, seven hundred workers were arrested. The Growth of the Tobacco Trade. Then I will turn to contemporary “fire” poetry and offer some theoretical perspectives on this writing by working-class women. Heat generation and loss in the human body, mechanisms of control and extreme heat and cold Consider the element of ritual in these poems.

April 2, year-old Jackie Mitchell, the second woman to play baseball in the all-male minor leagues, pitches an exhibition game against the. Writing in Life and Labor about a year after the fire, Bertha Rembaugh says of the girls who testified: It is not news to say that American literature, as it has been academically shaped for generations of students, allies itself with a white, Anglo-Saxon male–and class-privileged– paradigm.

But, as Leon Stein reports, no one came to claim the aid. Competition for jobs was at an all time high, especially in New York City.

triangle shirtwaist fire of 1911 essay

It demeans the spirit by denying to workers any part in determining the conditions of or pay for their work.