The world is composed of a beautiful assortment of people Several diff
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The world is composed of a beautiful assortment of people. Several differences exist between these people. One of these differences is social class. Two major social classes exist: the lower class and the higher class. In the novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler, the actions and thoughts of Duddy Kravitz and the people he encounters identify the differences between these two classes. These classes are different when it comes to how much education, the access to money that its constituents have and their behavior of superiority. Social class can highly influence the behavior and success of an individual.
The educational level within the social classes is quite different. The lower class citizens, usually, cannot afford a higher education. Duddy, the protagonist of the novel who is part of the lower class, is only a high school graduate. In fact, he starts his film business after returning from a summer job to make money to buy some land. The other people working at the hotel like Irwin, an antagonist in the novel, are from the higher class and they really do not need the money but are working at the hotel to please their family. In fact, the higher class can afford to get a higher education. Irwin, who is from a wealthy family, goes to McGill University to study to become a lawyer. This would not be possible without having the money to pay for his studies. Arguably, one can state that Lennie, Duddy's older brother, is at McGill studying medicine and is part of the lower class. This is true but Lennie did have the financial assistance of Benjy, a wealthy uncle. Consequently, social class can have a very significant influence on success.
Money is one of the biggest differences between the lower and higher classes of society. The lower class has great difficulty to make money. Even if they have a great idea, they must first have a capital investment to start it wich must come from a higher class source. In the novel Duddy's main quest is to find money to buy land. Duddy explains: "I'm not looking for a partner . . . " (Richler, 291) but no one wants to lend him the money he needs because he does not have any collateral and he is considered a risk. In contrast, higher class citizens do not face such problems. If a person with Mr. Calder's wealth would have wanted to obtain the land, he could have without any exterior funds. Also the banks know the higher class citizens have the assets necessary to take out a loan, unlike Duddy. Social class has an effect on people's access to money and in consequence, it has an effect on their ability to make money.
Different classes view themselves and other classes differently. The lower class acts differently when they are in presence of higher class persons. They are much more comfortable when surrounded by people of their class. As Duddy remarked:
"Meanwhile, with Yvette, he could be himself. She came from a poor family too and she knew that a guys underwear gets dirty sometimes and didn't look disgusted if you scratched your balls absently while you read Life in the living-room floor." (Richler, 228)
This is also an example that explains that the lower class feel intimidated by the higher class. Throughout the novel, every time Duddy meets with higher class individuals, he gets nervous and sweaty. The incident when he goes to see Mr. Cohen to sell him a film contract is only but one example. Duddy felt nervous because he knows that his plans depend on the approval of Mr. Cohen and others like him since it is the rich who have the money. Comparatively, the lower class does not intimidate the higher class. In essence, the higher class feels and acts superior to them. The higher class does this because they have a better education and they read more books. Because of this they understand more about the world and they have a better vocabulary. Benjy read many books and affirms the importance of books when he says to Benjy:
"You lying sons-of-bitches with your books and your socialism and your sneers. You give me one long pain in the
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New Canadian Library, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Mordecai Richler, Duddy, Social class
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