The Great Towns

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・1 Sources

The Great Towns by Friedrich Engels tells a tale about the sad state of many towns in England. The author's attention is continually drawn to Manchester, England. The city in question is built in the heart of the district. It is surrounded by houses that are of low quality. The area is populated by people from the middle class in the center, with people from the upper class occupying the outer ring. According to Engels, "...are both unmixed working-quarters, people's stretching like a girdle, averaging a mile and a half in breadth, across the business area." The upper and lower bourgeoisie live beyond, outside this girdle...” (53rd) The district has several main thoroughfares upon which traffic concentrates and in which the brilliant shops and the ground lines. During the day, the upper floors of the streets are always occupied until late in the night. The residential housing is always necessary to provide life to commercial areas. However, in the presented region, the great number of apartments in the region was always empty with some having no windows or doors. The condition experienced by the members of the working class has continually been confronted by Engels. Gauging from the class of oppression and the panorama of mystery, noted in the 1840s, there is indeed a need for the proletarian revolution.

Almost every town in the region has implemented the strategy of separating the upper class from the working class. A single area is considered as the wrong side since the housing and businesses are geared towards the upper class which means that the people from the lower class cannot fit within the identified section of the society. Despite the size of the town, a section will always be reserved for the members of the lower class. The presented factor provides an indication that the society will always direct the attention of the rich away from the poor. The presented method is evident in large city where the gap between the rich and poor is significantly large According to Engels, the middle-class live in remote lands unlike those in the high class (Engels 54). As witnessed in Manchester, the move is set to establish that the two groups are indeed from different social categories.

The building style implemented at the time was focused on segregating the members of the lower class from the high class. Engel’s attention is majorly on the state experienced at the working-class neighborhoods. By taking a walk through the “great towns” to reveal the reality about the state of the people within the working-class bracket, the reader is informed of the horrific conditions that the members of the identified social class deal with on a daily basis. The manner in which Engels describes the Manchester town is highly memorable. For instance, the houses of the members of the middles class were uninhabitable with some having no doors or windows. The environment could not be compared to those of the suburbs where the working class was a part. The housing between the two members of the social class varies significantly. Other than housing, the working condition is a factor which fundamentally raises eyebrows.

The general living condition of the working class is discerning. The fact that the members of the community were packed within a tiny space in comparison to those from the working class suggests that the gap between the rich and the poor was significantly high. It is apparent that during the time of the presented publication, a large percentage of people were moving to the city from the country with an aim of finding work. The presented narrative provides an indication that there are better employment opportunities in the city in comparison to those living in the rural regions. Engels seeks to reveal how the presented factor has affected the nature of individuals. When one moves to a bigger city they tend to believe that they are a part of the environment which greatly affects how they behave. In the city, nobody seems to care about the welfare of the other but themselves. They focus on making themselves better to continue enjoying the comfort and the benefits which come about as a result of the new environment they are currently living.

From the identified fact, it is clear that discontent can drive one to seek a better way of living. Clearly, the members of the middle class living in horrific situations are forced to move to the city in search of jobs to secure better living conditions. Therefore, through discontent, a future improvement in the living conditions is promoted such as good health and better education.


In summary, Engels provides a clear outlook of the general living conditions of the people likely to be experienced with existence of social class in the society. The members of the middle class are segregated from those of the upper class in terms of resources distribution. As a result, those from the lower class will be unsatisfied with their general conditions of living. Through this discontent, most will move from the rural to the urban parts of the country to secure better employments to better their living conditions.

Works Cited

Engels, Friedrich. The condition of the Working Class in England. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1987. Print.

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