From Chapters 3-4
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Johnny tries to look for work, but he does so with a bad attitude. He avoids employers that might pity him, and rejects an offer from a butcher because he would rather be a “fine craftsman” (50). The worst part about these interviews is that he must show the potential employers his hand.
In this chapter, Johnny is very concerned about the difference between skilled and unskilled labor. He rejects a job at the butcher because he would prefer a job where he can be a ‘fine craftsman’––even though his injury prevents him from doing most of these jobs. He also rejects Rab’s offer of employment, although he does so very politely. This difference was very important in the eighteenth century. Skilled laborers made more money than unskilled laborers, and skilled artisans—like clockmakers or silversmiths—had a higher social status than unskilled workers, like butchers.