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By referring closely to J B Priestley’s account of Bradford, explain

Satisfactory Essays
By referring closely to J B Priestley’s account of Bradford, explain

what he considers gave the city its particular character at the time

he was writing.

J.B. Priestley, in his writing about Bradford, believes its character

comes from, what might seem like, conflicting ideas. These ideas

contribute to what Priestley calls Bradford’s odd quality.

The character of Bradford, in 1933, when Priestley was writing, was

made up of two extremes, provincialism and that of a cosmopolitan

city. Provincialism remained in Bradford, firstly because the railway

went to Leeds and not to Bradford and therefore the city didn’t get

much new trade, such as any other manufacturing and/or greater

educational opportunities. As this was not the case and the railway

went to Leeds instead of Bradford, the main job type in Bradford was

the woollen industry, as it had already been for generations. All over

Bradford there would have been spinning mills where people were

employed to work very long and unsociable hours for very little pay.

Another reason why provincialism remained in Bradford was because the

woollen profession was what the people were used to. For generations

in Bradford the woollen trade is what the local residents have been

accustomed to and they enjoyed it. In 1930s when I am talking about,

the peasants in the outskirts of Bradford would commute into Bradford

on the trams. This kind of Bradford (the woollen industry etc.) is all

they know and understand about life. This style of living is all that

comes naturally to them. I feel that the people who lived and worked

here in Bradford became very insular; they did not look beyond their

experience. This is what kept provincialism a reality in Bradford.

There is a lot more about Bradford that I haven’t already explained,

aside from provincialism!

A contradicting view of Bradford, to the above, is that the city was

very based around cosmopolitan ideas and mindsets. Some people never

ventured further than twenty or thirty miles out of Bradford whereas,

others would have travelled to, what would seem to regular

Bradfordians, the end of the universe, selling and buying woollen

produce. Although they had travelled the world, gained more

understanding and become more intelligent, when they returned to

Market Street, Bradfordians would never have changed as, say Londoners

would have. They still remained their same selves. When you met

someone from Bradford you would think they had only travelled as far

as York or Morecambe, but in actual fact they might have been to
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