The Town Week by Robert Lynd
In The Town Week by Robert Lynd we have the theme of character, failure, struggle, change and restlessness. Taken from his Specially Selected, Essays of Choice collection the reader realises after reading the essay that Lynd has a preference for Monday. He believes that it is the proper start of the week. Things can be done before they fall into Tuesday and downhill. Lynd has no likening for Tuesday and in his opinion it is not really a day of the week that one should bother with. Nothing happens unless of course you are an American evangelist. For then you are assured a crowd as people get over the start of the working week and look for something better to do. In reality Lynd may be suggesting that some days are failures that they lack character. Taking into consideration Wednesday Lynd argues that good things (like the Derby and cricket) start on Wednesday. Wednesday in Lynd’s argument has a lot going for it. It should be a joyous occasion. However Lynd is looking at life through rose-tinted glasses. Not every man can afford to go to the Derby or to attend the cricket.
Thursday with its closeness to the weekend is also looked upon favourably by Lynd. With society happy that the weekend is near. However when the weekend does arrive (Friday) Lynd has very little to say for it as people are wrapped up in thoughts of Saturday and Sunday. Two days in whereby Lynd is unable to analyse due to the very different rituals of people. On Saturday people tend to do some work around the house or in the garden but it is work all the same. While on Sunday the godly will practice and the ungodly will be stuck for something to do. Perhaps Lynd could suggest that the ungodly become the godly and this would solve the problem of a restless Sunday. On a more serious note Lynd may be suggesting that the Church is no longer as powerful as it once was. Less and less people are attending service.
It is also noticeable that Lynd is running from one day to the next and not enjoying himself. He generalizes about the condition of one day over the other when the reality is he could brighten his life if he changed his routine. True he suggests that when one goes away for a weekend they are forced to return not on a Tuesday but on a Monday due to the nature of the holiday and service received. However some type of change is in order for Lynd to enjoy himself on the days in which he struggles. As it is Lynd view that at least half the week is a failure. Basing his opinion on the issues of other people. People that Lynd himself might not have a common touch with. It seems to be a luxury for Lynd to complain about the days of the week. Lynd is not a working man and does not spend his own week working. Life for Lynd is a luxury. So luxurious in fact that he has the time to divide the week in segments and give his opinions on the various days.
The end of the essay as interesting as Lynd knows that he has only one option but to repeat himself. He has after all run out of days of the week. In Lynd’s version of the week things are repetitive and predictable whereas for the majority of people, particularly those who struggle, life is not that simple. Every day can be different due to different circumstances for different people. A man who has to finish a job on a Wednesday may be reliant on a supplier who might not have the goods till Friday. In many ways Lynd’s thinking is too simple and prejudges that one is a person of luxury. That the realities of life do not necessarily affect them. Though some critics will agree with Lynd and consider his essay to be humorous. There will be others who will simply not connect with what Lynd is saying. Lynd is far removed from reality and his writing caters only for one set of individuals (middle classes). Which is unfortunate for Lynd as he may not necessarily have hit the right note with those who might enjoy his humour should the content be more accessible.