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Representations of social class in popular literature

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  1. Introduction
  2. Study of Canada, as divided into various social class
  3. The theme of social class represented in 3 different novels
  4. Review: Who Do You Think You Are? a novel by Alice Munro
  5. Review: The Wars by Timothy Findley
  6. Review: In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
  7. Conclusion
  8. Bibliography

Many of the texts studied in literature portray Canada as a country that is divided by social class. Three of these novels in particular are Who Do You Think You Are?, The Wars and In the Skin of a Lion. The first of these novels is a set of small stories that chronicles the main character's perception of class division in two different places in Ontario. In the second part of the book, the main character, Rose begins to become very conscious of class divisions in (Canadian society). Social class is a main theme of this book. The second book shows the life of an upper class, traditional Canadian family, and how they are tested through warfare. This is done through an account of Robert Ross' experiences as an officer in the Canadian army during World War I. This book also highlights the theme of social class in Canada. Finally, the third book illustrates the lives and sacrifices of immigrant in Toronto in the early 1900s. They are portrayed in a way that depicts the social divisions and class divisions that were prominent in Toronto and Canada back then. As such, this book also shares the theme of social class.

[...] He experiences back home, including his education, allow his to perceive things that others cannot, and represents the theme of social class in the novel. His upbringing also contributes to his weaknesses though, and this is seen in the way he is unable to kill the injured horse. Finally, the last novel, In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje represents social class and social division in Canada by telling the stories of the forgotten workers who helped build Toronto. [...]


[...] As the title of the novel points out, the characters in the novel seek to tell their own story as a way of compensating for the effects of social class the historical omissions. The character Alice explains the meaning of the title and in doing so emphasizes the importance of telling these personal narratives. ?Each person had their moment when they assumed the skins of wild animals, when they took responsibility for the story.? (Ondaatje, 1987: 157). It has been outlined the way in which different Canadian novels, written by different authors, during different times can all have their story related to the theme of social class and the divisions of social class that exist in society. [...]

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