SOCIAL CLASSES EFFECTING CRUELTY DOUGLASS’S NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS
To know about social classes in a prose (Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass), it is a duty knowing about what sociological criticism is firstly. Sociological Criticism is one of the family literary criticisms that directed to analyze literary work in a larger social context. It codifies the literary strategies that are employed to reflect social constructs through a sociological methodology. Sociological criticism analyzes both how the social functions in literature and how literature works in a society. In the other simplicity words a literary work or any other art work has a function as systematic reflections of society and societal behavior, because literature can be seen as a social indication. A literary work had written at an era directly connected with norms and culture at that time. An author is writing also as a people of that era. This paper focuses about the position or portion the author in society, how deep the connection between literary texts and society composition. Wellek and Werren said “literature is an expression of society”, means a society wanted or not have to reflect and express their life, (1990: 110). Douglass’s Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass reflects and expresses his life as the black man, as the second class in social classes of society at that time. He wrote his masterpiece of his journey of life as a slave. Douglass’s Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass showed of social classes at that time and the cruelty effect. Social classes or social stratification in sociology is a concept involving classification of people into groups based on shared socio-economic conditions a relational set of inequalities with economic, social, political, race and ideological dimensions. When differences lead to greater status, power or privilege for some groups over the other it is called Social Stratification. It is a system by which society ranks categories of people in hierarchical social categories. The common stratum model of class divides society into simple hierarchy of three classes; (1) working class, (2) middle class, (3) upper class. Social classes was formed by capitalism model, in the Marxist view of capitalism, this is a dividing between capitalist (bourgeoisie) and wage-workers (the proletariat). And it was developing into three classes. 1.
Upper class (ruler)
This class is the social class composed of those who are wealthy, well-born, or both and aristocracy or royalty. They usually wield the greatest political power. It contained only 1-2 percent of population, so called “the one percent”. But in America this class composed of extremely wealthy, the so called super-rich even they earned their money in business. 2.
Middle class (bourgeoisie)
This class is applied very broadly and includes people who would elsewhere be considered lower class. They so called “white collar workers”. 3.
Lower class (proletariat)
In America they also called “underclass”. They are workers with low paying and homeless. Slaves as the lower class than worker can be included in this class. They are worker without payment or any proper facilities. Social classes in anywhere are often causing social conflict that the lower class becomes the victim especially the slaves with upper class’s own hand or with their subordinate. They are tortured so cruelty like they are not human being. Cruelty is the noun form of cruel as adjective. If cruel is having desire to cause pain and suffering, cruelty is the behavior that cause pain and suffering to others by involving violence, but affirmative violence is not necessary for an act to be cruel. But take a right of human being can be called a cruelty, such as forbidding having a religion. At the analysis chapter will be explain about the connection between Douglass’s Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass with his social background as the...
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