Wasim Aamir Noordin
Candidate number: 3105
Question 1 (15 marks)
Select five sources. Explain how useful these sources have been in informing you in your enquiry into the involvement of women in industry in the two world wars. (15 marks.)
My first source, a quote taken from Mona Marshall, a nursemaid who had become a steelworker during the war, describes the significance of women when working in industry during the First World War. The source was created in 1986; 40 years after the Second World War which makes it particularity useful as the person being interviewed can offer a retrospective view on the war, which gives the interviewed person time to reflect, enabling them to think before they speak, rather than expressing untamed raw emotions which have not had time to ‘mature’. We can infer that Mona Marshall is pro-war as the source only selected the positives of war. Mona says that the war was the “best thing” and “the war made me stand on my own two feet”. This lessens the usefulness through limiting what can be extracted from the source as what is extracted is subjective and created for the creator’s desired purpose. What is immediately evident from this quote is the massive positive change that the war had on a woman’s life, as in giving a woman her own independent living saying that saying that the war made women “stand on (their) own two feet”. Nonetheless, the usefulness is greatly limited as the detail given is too vague, being demonstrated by the use of “steelworker” which ultimately gives no actual detail. Mona Marshall says “The war changed all that”, indicating that this war was a massive factor which resulted in her independence. This is supported by the background information recounting her entire transformation from a Nursemaid to a Steelworker. However, she says that the war made her independent, not all women automatically: “made me stand on my own two feet” displays that not all women may have benefited from the war and Mona’s ignorance and idle mind is demonstrated by her saying that she was “as green as grass”, which is a saying that relates to naivety. Therefore, this lessens the reliability of the source, which in turn lessens the usefulness of this source, in that Mona’s account of the war may lose accuracy due to her naivety, indolence and to an extent immaturity, mentally. Nonetheless, it could be argued that Mona’s view is more broadened and she has gained experience as she is expressing this statement 40 years into the future, in 1986, which relays a sense of ‘learning from mistakes’ and is made veteran-like. Source one infers the war is a positive event through the use of “best thing” by Mona Marshall. However, we are unaware who Mona is speaking to and henceforth, this person who Mona is speaking to may be selecting only the pro-war statement which lessens the usefulness of the source, limiting the source. The purpose of the source is to demonstrate that the war was beneficial for people, specifically women, as...