Margaret's Museum

1057 Words5 Pages
In the film Margaret’s Museum, the fate of the residents of Glace Bay is determined by the coal mine. It dictates the lives of the town; physically, economically and emotionally. The pit physically dominates their lives by death or injury. Economically the pit controls their lives as there is no other alternative than working directly or indirectly in the pit. Emotionally the town’s people are ruled by the pit as they are left with the personal scares that are the consequences of surrendering to the mine. The ways in which the industrial landscape of Margaret’s Museum shapes men’s and women’s everyday lives is that it physically exploits the lives of the men working in the coal mine and their families. The majority of the town owes debts to the business store and jobs are quite scarce. They have no choice but to eventually work in the coal mining pit but this job comes with a heavy price. This price is the lives of the workers. This has a physical effect on the town as many men continue to die due to the hazardous conditions of the pit and if they survive they are left with severe health problems like Margaret’s grandfather. He survived his years working in the pit but his lungs are so severely damaged that he needs to be hit on the back repeatedly to keep breathing. We see the effects of this when Margaret brings Neil home and her mother reminds her to ‘thump’ her grandfather on the back. The workers are also wounded continuously and the town’s people have come to fear the sound of the horn as it means that their loved ones could be dead or gravely injured. The fate of coal miners is sealed to a condemned life because they either die while on the job or they eventually die because of the physical conditions of the pit. The scene that demonstrates the latter is at the end of the film when Margaret’s grandfather is having trouble breathing but the horn sounds and

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