Social Stratification

Length: 17 Pages 4213 Words

Introduction Social stratification is a recurring theme in many great works of literature. Social stratification can be defined as a "hierarchical ranking of groups (that is) based on the unequal distribution of societal resources and positions" (The University of Texas at Dallas). Throughout history, social stratification has influenced the class system of America, the caste system of India, and the feudal system of Europe. Today, social stratification has a very real influence in America and Europe. Even today, Americans are often divided by income, race, gender, and social structure. While this definition is undoubtedly complete and correct, it does little to tell us about the real, human consequences of social stratification. It is through an understanding of the impact of social stratification on a real human life that makes us understand the human costs. For example, the vivid descriptions of racism and scorn faced by Eudora Welty's protagonist in A Worn Path give us an understanding of the emotional consequences of racism on a single human life. This description has a much more powerful impact on our understanding of social stratification than a dry phrase like, 'social stratification i Continue...


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Nonetheless, social position and wealth could not ultimately protect theelite from the fall of Rome. He cannot forgive thepossibility of evil that exists in those that he knows and loves, and diesa sorrowful and troubled man. Ultimately, at the end of the novel, Madame Loisel begins to realizethe folly of her dreams. No matter how humans try toprotect themselves from death, it will ultimately find them. The importance of race in social stratification is clearly seen inthe story. Bauer argues that Wharton's RomanFever is simply a reflection of the society that Wharton lived within. Similarly, The Masque of the Red Death shows that socialstratification ultimately protects the elite from death and suffering. As a result, she must work herfingers to the bone at a menial job for many years to pay off the debt. As she works to pay off the debt, Madame Loisel becomes hardenedphysically, and loses the softness of her youthful beauty. The woman describes thevisit of her other daughter, Dee. Slade are obsessed with the need for social position. At the time, women were often seen as eitherhighly feminine or as strident feminists. The Puritan ideals of piety and lack of sin are thebackbones of hierarchy within this religious community. As such, we can see that the appearance ofsocial standing is often made at the expense of reality.

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