Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
The old men […] talked of the past days when they had been accustomed to thresh with flails on the oaken barn-floor; when everything, even to winnowing, was effected by hand-labour, which, to their thinking, though slow, produced better results. (47.8)
The old men working with the steam-powered threshing machine are nostalgic for the good old days, when everything had to be done by hand. There was a lot of resistance to industrialization in the nineteenth century, especially among the older generation, because the invention of all these new machines meant fewer jobs for the workers.