Monday, February 25, 2013

Moving Through the Social Classes with Black Beauty

A classic novel, and one of my all-time favorites, Black Beauty is a great example of Marxism and the social class divide. As the reader follows Black Beauty's journey from one owner to the next, he/she is exposed to the vast differences between the poor, middle, working and noble classes.

The lower classes Beauty becomes a part of cherish him and his hard work. He is well taken care of. Even though the days seem long and the work remains heavy, he seems content. When he comes into the hands of the higher social classes, however, he is taken for granted. In some instances, he is not regarded as anything more than something for show-- something replaceable.

The two best examples I can give to show the social class divide are between Jerry the cab driver and the Duchess of Earlshall.

The Duchess of Earlshall is all about appearances (very materialistic). The horses' heads must be raised, they must trot in-step and they must be presented in perfect show at all times. The Duchess is a perfect example of the Bourgeoisie class level of Marxism.


Jerry the cab driver, however, works hard for his living, tailoring to the needs of those who have money in order to just get by. The work is relentless and offers little to know regard for the life of the driver or the horse, yet Beauty is treated like a part of the family by this man. Jerry is a great example of the Proletariat class level of Marxism.

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