In his essay “Land of Opportunity” James W. Loewen details the ignorance that most American students have towards class structure. He bemoans the fact that most textbooks completely ignore the issue of class, and when it does it is usually only mentions middle class in order to make the point that America is a “middle class country. This is particularly grievous to Loewen because he believes, “Social class is probably the single most important variable in society. From womb to tomb, it correlates with almost all other social characteristics of people that we can measure.” Loewen simply believes that social class usually determine the paths that a person will take in life. (Loewen 203)
However, the popular BBC serial-drama Downton Abbey (Broadcast in the U.S on PBS) a program where class permeates every episode, presents a different view. It manages show that opportunity along with the necessary boldness, talent, drive, and persistence can enable a person to rise above their station and better themselves; despite living in a system determined to hold them down. Downton Abbey focuses on the inner workings of an elegant British manor and the affairs of the family and staff who live there. The Crawley’s (the family who owns Downton Abbey) like other British nobles believe they are superior to the middle class Britons (doctors, lawyers, bankers); the nouveau rich Americans (whose money they covet as most owners of British estates are losing or have lost their fortunes); and of course, everyone is above the lowly house servants (Fellowes).
House servants also have rank and hierarchy and many of the lower ranking ones are always jockeying and trying to rise above their peers. At the top is...
... middle of paper ...
...vestiges of the past and make a new living by selling the estate when it still had value trapped her. She had the class, she had the connections, but she did not have the requisite skills (or requisite sanity) to start anew (Coateworth).
Although Loewen is correct that class and connections can place you in a position where you are more likely to succeed it isn’t enough to always keep you there; the Bouvier-Beales are proof of that. Big Edie had the house, she could have sold it, and then invested it in a wealthy friend’s or associate’s business; she refused to. Little Edie could have been bold like Sybil Crawley and left the squalid lifestyle her mother had chosen for herself – she didn’t. While boldness, talent, persistence and the drive to take advantage of opportunities can sometimes overcome class; apathy, laziness and lack of useable skills can negate it too.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the article “America the Promised Land,” Oskar, argues that even though America is the land where a person will be free to work out his/her destiny as he/she chooses, but people still lose their cultural identity. In addition, Oskar states, “The consumerist society flashes us with announcements everywhere, telling us to be somebody other than ourselves. We end up believing we need to adopt those false appearances to be accepted and to finally feel as if we belong.” There are a lot of people who agree with Oskar, and they believe that people do lose their cultural identity in America because they experienced these situations, but some people totally disagree with Oskar, and they do not bel... [tags: Discrimination, Racism, Anthropology, Race]
724 words (2.1 pages)
- ... (19-24) Eliot is comparing England’s post WWI culture to the cultures described in these sections of the Bible. Eliot is saying that the culture is lifeless, and falling to “darkness.” He is saying that people can’t prosper as long as the culture is this way in the lines, “What branches grow out of this stony rubbish?”(19-20). One of the reasons that the culture was stagnant is because the populace of England was in a kind of “shock” from the brutality of the First World War. Eliot portrays this in “The Burial of The Dead,” Unreal City, Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many.... [tags: poem analysis]
970 words (2.8 pages)
- The article that I read is from The Jewish Messenger Newspaper, which was published between 1857 and 1902. “The Immigration Problem” titled editorial article was written on Dec 27, 1901 by the editor of the newspaper Abram S. Isaacs. Isaacs, in this article, bring to the surface the unshown frustration of the Jewish community of the president Roosevelt speech regarding the immigrants who disturb the economic condition. On the other hand, he specifies the position of the community leader by not commenting on the speech for the sake of the unity and the republic, which “is larger than any creed or class”.... [tags: United States, Immigration to the United States]
934 words (2.7 pages)
- The article “The Case for Reparations” is a point of view that Ta-nehisi Coates looks into the life of Clyde Ross and what he went through in the African American society. Arranging reparations based off of what Clyde Ross lived through and experienced from the time he was a young child to his later adult years. Providing life facts and events comparing them to today and seeking out to present his reparations. Clyde ross explain that we are still living bound down as blacks to the white supremacy and in a new era of racism .Concluding the article the fact that it’s been far too long to live the way we are and it is time for a change to finally be made.... [tags: Black people, White people, Race, African American]
1136 words (3.2 pages)
- If ten people of different nationalities were placed in front of you, and you were asked to choose which one is an “illegal immigrant,” which one would you choose. Now clearly it is not that easy to give an answer because one might ask, “well what do they look like?” If you tried doing a quick Google image search, because in our society today Google can answer any question, with just the terms “Illegal Immigrant,” the first pages of hits would include a majority of photos depicting people who are Mexican.... [tags: Illegal immigration]
1261 words (3.6 pages)
- In the article, it illustrates about Peter Salins who had two types of purposes for writing the “Assimilation, American Style.” One out of its two purposes was to reveal how immigrants were a big part or played a huge contribution to mainstream America. In addition to immigrants playing a big role, they wanted the immigrants to make a change to American without them losing their identity or self-image. The reason behind that is because the immigrants wanted to stay true to themselves, without society changing them severely.... [tags: United States, Immigration to the United States]
1046 words (3 pages)
- The first original filming of, “The Wizard of Oz,” was filmed in black and white, however, it became one of the first films to show the world the horizons that could be reached with new color technology. The sepia tones that are used in the opening, and the closing of the film help us to capture the dustiness, and grittiness, of the country. The use of sepia tones in these particular scenes is a very creative way to introduce Dorothy’s country home located in Kansas. The use of tones is especially dull, compared to what we immediately see the moment Dorothy opens the door to the bright, beautiful Land of Oz.... [tags: The Wizard of Oz, Land of Oz]
1148 words (3.3 pages)
- There is an old saying “no matter how flat the pancake, there is always two sides”. After reading the essay written by Michael Kinsley titled “The Religious Superiority Complex”, I decided to further investigate General Boykin's comments and actions, to examine why our highly-decorated combat veteran was under attack. My skepticism about the article pressured me into probing his conduct further. I am conscious enough to know mainstream media can be one-sided and vow to collect verifiable evidence before passing or making a judgment.... [tags: Article Analysis ]
1540 words (4.4 pages)
Analysis Of The Article ' Our Wealth : Where Is It Taking Us `` And Barbara Ehrenreich 's Article ``
- America is a land of wealth and opportunity, a beacon of liberty whose citizens enjoy great personal freedoms and the benefits of the world’s largest economy. That is the image that we hold dear and project to the rest of the world, but is all that wealth, liberty, and justice really for all. Henry Veldboom 's article “Our Wealth: Where Is It Taking Us” and Barbara Ehrenreich’s article “Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?” both question that image and the underlying values of american society. Barbara Ehrenreich thinks that America has a problem with the way it deals with those in poverty; not only does one of the richest nations in the world treat its impoverished citizens unkindly, but the laws... [tags: Poverty, Homelessness]
1560 words (4.5 pages)
From Movements to Parties in Latin America. The Evolution of Ethnic Politics. Donna Lee Van Cott. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2005. Pp. 276
- The author analyzes how indigenous people’s movements in Latin America transformed into viable political parties. For her, these new parties are good for the democracy because they enrich and enhance the legitimacy of the political and electoral system. She assumes that the primary link between state and society are the parties and its accountability impact on the institutions. She proves that the crisis of the traditional parties and the transformation of the historical electoral constrains were determinant factors that contributed to ethnic party formation and consolidation.... [tags: Article Analysis]
1080 words (3.1 pages)