The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum

Themes

Workers’ Rights
Workers’ rights have often been at odds with a corporation’s goal of making profit. Unions were introduced during the Industrial Revolution as a means of advocating for workers’ rights and improving working conditions. In many cases unions have been very successful in doing so; however the idea continues to be a contentious one.

Memory and its Preservation
Memory is an ephemeral and changing aspect of human consciousness. Although individuals may try to preserve memory, it is always altered by time and experience. The act of remembering can be a source of great comfort or great pain, and as we see in The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum, it can be both at the same time.

Hope and Despair
Integral aspects of the human condition, hope and despair are inextricably linked. As we struggle to survive or strive to achieve new heights, we are guided by the optimism hope provides but also conversely can find ourselves in a state of despair when a situation seems impossible to overcome.

Family
The family unit is a building block for every society. Family relationships are complex, dynamic and ever changing, and are often explored in literature or in art as a means of examining themes of love, duty and obligation, which is evident in The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum.

Justice
Many discussions take place in the MacNeil household around what is just and fair in regards to workers’ rights. These conversations are primarily between Ian, who believes the union will act as a just and fair advocate for workers, and Neil, who is sceptical that any real change will occur, with or without the union.

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