The Last Hurrah And The Living Is Easy Analysis

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After reading from the novels The Last Hurrah and The Living is Easy, both surrounding the city of Boston in similar eras with similar views on public and political life, what comes to mind most of all is the portrayal of the middle class. This middle class is not the idea conjured from traditional historical figures, but rather a constantly fluctuating zone of monetary and social value. Being vague by definition, the middle class arises as people move from the inner city to the suburbs and form newly constructed neighborhoods, which were previously held by the wealthy. In The Living is Easy, Cleo desperately tries to rid herself of the stigmatism surrounding her race and the stereotypes, which follow it. By moving to Brookline, she attempts to move up in the world. The Irish immigrants in West’s novel are even more visible in The Last Hurrah. O’Connor’s novel fast-forwards to the beginning of the Irish expansion to the suburbs and into a state of normalcy and association with the middle class. Race is a prevalent issue in both novels and surrounds the commencement of moving to a new social and political stature within city society. While Cleo looks inward and remains aware of the state of her appearance and that of others around her, Skeffington is maintaining his own image and does not wish to evolve towards any new horizon. Racially, the novels’ protagonists share a differentiation from other people in their society. Cleo is of a minority among the middle class and Skeffington has made his life to serve and be idolized by them. With each story coming into contact with racial migration, it’s fair to say that the construction of each of these novels leaves the reader with a view of a changed city, where neighborhoods are changing... ... middle of paper ... ...d to gain his merit in society is done. Developments in the American public life, such as the repercussions of the president’s New Deal, changed the face of city politics to such a degree that Skeffington can no longer garner the votes of the younger generation. His newcomer opponent Kevin McCluskey is a fresh face to the people of the city. A war veteran with good manners plainly beats out the politically experienced Irishman with a taste for bashing the media. The thing is, McCluskey has no political abilities and no experience in governing a group of people, but they voted for him because of his utilization of new technology; Television advertisements. Out with the old, in with the new. After Skeffington’s heart attacks, he leaves behind a city lamenting the loss of an eminent political figure, though at this point, the city no longer needs his kind of politics.

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