Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

II.2 Hudson

In this scene, Mr. Striker articulates an American industrial ethos: “The crop we gather depends upon the seed we sow. [Roderick] may be the biggest genius of the age; his potatoes won’t come up without his hoeing them. . . . Take the word for it of a man who has made his way inch by inch and doesn’t believe that we wake up to find our work done because we have lain all night a-dreaming of it; anything worth doing is devilish hard to do!” 

The productive power of masculine activity espoused by Striker (and reflective of the working-class) foils Rowland's leisure class ideology of idleness and loafing. Roderick, meanwhile, remains consistently torn between these two class-specific philosophies, feeling compelled to mimic the behavior of his patron while also working to fulfill his commitment to sustained, sculptural performance and production.

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