You saw nothing in Coketown but what was severely workful
. If the members of a religious persuasion built a chapel there - as the members of eighteen religious persuasions had done - they made it a pious warehouse of red brick, with sometimes (but this is only in highly ornamental examples) a bell in a birdcage on the top of it.
Rather than seeing this as 'false consciousness' or a rationale employed to disguise an unequal, unfair division of domestic labour, a view of kitchens as spaces for celebrations of feminine innovation and power brings with it the possibility that in spite of the continued lack of recognition of the 'workful
' nature of routine domestic cooking tasks (De Vault 1997:183), many women regard cooking as an avenue for creative expressions of identity.
One of the most refreshing aspects of Richard Whittington-Egan's literary life is that it is clearly brimming with sheer workful
vitality and yet deadlines must be anathema.
By some literary smelting process Gradgrind's stony ore is transmuted into metal and he into a "galvanizing apparatus" charged with a "grim mechanical substitute" for the "tender young imaginations" he is intent on destroying, metaphorically coating them with metal by means of galvanic electricity, and setting the key-note for subsequent juxtapositions of the mechanical and the human, the implacably workful and the imaginative and vulnerable (3).
The rest of its "severely workful" features, however, are not economically determined but "voluntary," the results of deliberate choices, all of them harmful: the M'Choakumchild school, the school of design, industrial relations, in fact, everything "between the lying-in hospital and the cemetery" (22-23).