Alcatraz is an island that was once a federal penitentiary for the American prisoners. Regardless of its cold reputation, it has been of importance to the U.S Army, jailhouse folklore, federal prison system and a historic revolution of the West Coast. Alcatraz originated to the discovery of gold in San Francisco. There was a high rush for gold, which meant the American government had to protect California. This is because gold seeker thronged the place. Therefore, Alcatraz built to host the American army, later turned to be an island of detention.
San Francisco was prone to earthquakes resulting to all nearby prisoners being transferred to the infallible Alcatraz. The prison became a minimum-security prison since the prisoners were educated and received vocational and military training. The prisoners spent most of their time learning and working. Prisoned officers offered jobs to some as babysitters. The prison life aided the transformation of the landscape of the island (Sanderson, 2012). The prisoners built a baseball field and went further to design their own baseball uniform. Friday night was meant for boxing matches famously known as Alcatraz Fights. There was a nearby island known as Angel, which the military transported to Alcatraz for gardening and training of their prisoners as gardeners. They cultivated lilies on the eastern side, bluegrass, roses and poppies. The accommodation in this island was favourable under the U.S. Army.
The geographical location of this island was not conducive to the military and prisoners occupying the island. This involved importing supplies and food, which was very exorbitant. At some point, the former minimum-security prison became the maximum-security civilian penitentiary. It was meant to house dreadful prisoners, is location was so isolated that that served as an exile. There were strict daily routines that meant to following the rules and regulation and hardening the prisoners. The prison provided for rights including food, medical attention, shelter and clothing. An individual had to be strong and hardworking to earn a visit from family and recreational activities.
Finally, bad behaviour attracted punishment that included solitary confinement with only provision of bread and water, wearing a chain and 12-pound ball and hard labour. Attempts to escape over 30 prisoners resulted into death as some were shot dead and few others drowned in the San Francisco Bay.
The 1900 house is a show that talks about a modern family that exhibit the lifestyle of the late Victorian in 1900 for 3 months in a modified house. About 400 families applied to live in the 1900 house including the Bowlers family. They were typically 20th century family, this is a condition that forced them to adapt to, a life without the luxuries that exists in the modern lives. The family was very unusual taking advantage of all the opportunities that came their way. The Victorian life had no pressure, and there was so much time since waking up was when the sun arose and going to bed was at the fall of night. This isolation made time go slower. It was impossible to tell what was going around because there was no radio, television and telephone. It did not affect so much to their life (Shaw, 2000).
In the 1900 house, there was the lack of freedom from what one eats, wears and free time that never existed. There was so much work involved in operating the various gadgets such as washing clothes, using stove, etc. some of items such as a brush became difficult to understand how it was designed to be used to clean bannisters. It was a difficult time for the Bowler family, having in mind that there was a modern family, they were living before they joined 1900 house. The cameras were on them all the times filming them. During their stay, they got used to the camera operators.
In 1900, women during this period focused on their family and their home. They are said to have value and deserves a lot of respect. The housework was very tiring physically since corset limited the easy of movement. Therefore, every task took a long time and required strong biceps. Time was of essence leading to no time for relaxation even though there was so much exhaustion.
Contrast exists between the lives of the prisoners and the lives of the Bowler family. To begin with are similarities in which both the prisoners and the family lived in isolation. The Victorian life and Alcatraz, nothing modern existed. In Alcatraz, prisoners just woke up to hard labour each day. The prisoners and the Bowlers family, time was a factor that was regarded important and not subject to any wastage. Just like there were no newspapers in the 1900 house, the prisoners were also not allowed to receive newspaper from the outside world. As we can read from the stories, so much work is evidenced in the two scenarios and the level of hardworking plays a major role.
There are also major differences in both the lives of the prisoners and the Bowler family. The prisoner could get very harsh punishment on bad behaviour, but the Bowler family had an option of quitting. The prisoners were able to undertake activities such as baseball games and fight that never existed in the 1900 house. The use of guns to shoot the escapees in the Alcatraz prison never existed in the 1900 where modern thing were out dated.
In conclusion, life at the 1900 house would be better than the prison life where there were so many restrictions because of the prisoners. However, there were no modern material in the 1900 house but living there would have just need some adjustments then one fits in the environment.