- Good shops, schools, sanitation, water supply, medical services.
- Social life and entertainments.
- Drawbacks, inipure air, dust, noise, riots, etc.
- On balance, town life has something to its credit.
In comparing town and country life, those who are town dwellers tend to idealize country life. It is held to be a peaceful and trouble-free existence, “far from the maddening crowd.” But the experience of a village often shows that this is not quite a true picture. In a town, one has an excellent service of shops and markets from which to purchase all the things necessary for life. There are fine schools for the education of the young, as well as colleges and night, classes. The majority of large towns have now a drainage system, as well as a carefully purified water supply. Anti-malarial measures have removed the mosquito so that the town-dweller has no fever from mosquito bites nor dysentery from bad water. There are good medical officers and hospitals, so in practice, the town-dweller is much better looked after than his village cousin.
On the social side, there are theatres, cinemas, lectures and · entertainments of all kinds. Even the poorest man can take part in the entertainments which a large city offers. A walk in the evening will show that a town keeps its citizens amused and occupied till a late hour. In fact this is often carried too far, and home life is suffering because of the modern craze for entertainment. But, on the whole, there is a brightness and sparkle in the life of the town-people.
There is, of course, another side to the picture. The reader may well point out that what we have described is rather an ideal town, and that the facilities we have described are mainly available to the well-to-do classes. It is true that in most towns even in this enlightened age, there are slums in which people are huddled together in poverty and want. This is one of the evils which have followed everywhere in the wake of industry and it is one of the problems for our leaders and reformers. The air of the town is often polluted by the smoke of factories and the fune; from petrol-driven motor-cars. But, on the whole, too much is made of this. The dust and the noise of traffic in the busy streets is a real drawback, and many nervous troubles of the present day can be ascribed to the continuous noise of city life.
For the well-to-do and residents in the suburban districts, town life can be a very fine existence. For the poor workers in their slums, it is quite another matter, and so we can hardly give an unqualified decision for or against.