Within the novels we read Untouchable (1935), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), Their Eyes were watching God (1937), and As I Lay Dying (1930) social class and structure are brought up to show the divide between the people of monetary ability. Within the novels Mrs. Dalloway and As I Lay Dying, the first two novels published, the monetary divide is more prominent and is creates a hierarchy within the socials classes of a single culture. The other two novels, Their Eyes and Untouchable, represent a monetary divide that existed in a culture in which the ones out down are pushed into that position due to their birth, this position of birth is then reflected by a low monetary worth. I feel this represents a gradual evolution that reflects the growing out of society. The gradual growth starts with looking at the richer class, than moving to a similar cultures lower class, the divide is moved to a more distinct divide between levels of a culture outside of England, and ending with a monetary divide between two different cultures.
“Love ain’t somethin’ lak uh grindstone dat’s de same thing everywhere and do de same thing tuh everything it touch. Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore” (20.7).
“the parents of the other children would not allow their sons to be contaminated by the touch of the low-caste man’s son (39)”.
There were roses; there were irises. Ah yes — so she breathed in the earthy garden sweet smell as she stood talking to Miss Pym who owed her help, and thought her kind, for kind she had been years ago; very kind, but she looked older, this year, turning her head from side to side among the irises and roses and nodding tufts of lilac with her eyes half closed, snuffing in, after the street uproar, the delicious scent, the exquisite coolness.
The ground rose, wooded and sandy, to overlook the meadow, the stretch of river and the swamp. Nick dropped his pack and rod-case and looked for a level piece of ground. He was very hungry and he wanted to make his camp before he cooked. Between two jack pines, the ground was quite level. He took the ax out of the pack and chopped out two projecting roots. That leveled a piece of ground large enough to sleep on. He smoothed out the sandy soil with his hand and pulled all the sweet fern bushes by their roots. His hands smelled good from the sweet fern. He smoothed the uprooted earth. He did not want anything making lumps under the blankets. When he had the ground smooth, he spread his three blankets. One he folded double, next to the ground. The other two he spread on top.
With the ax he slit off a bright slab of pine from one of the stumps and split it into pegs for the tent. He wanted them long and solid to hold in the ground. With the tent unpacked and spread on the ground, the pack, leaning against a jackpine, looked much smaller. Nick tied the rope that served the tent for a ridge-pole to the trunk of one of the pine trees and pulled the tent up off the ground with the other end of the rope and tied it to the other pine. The tent hung on the rope like a canvas blanket on a clothes line. Nick poked a pole he had cut up under the back peak of the canvas and then made it a tent by pegging out the sides. He pegged the sides out taut and drove the pegs deep, hitting them down into the ground with the flat of the ax until the rope loops were buried and the canvas was drum tight.
Across the open mouth of the tent Nick fixed cheese cloth to keep out mosquitoes. He crawled inside under the mosquito bar with various things from the pack to put at the head of the bed under the slant of the canvas. Inside the tent the light came through the brown canvas. It smelled pleasantly of canvas. Already there was something mysterious and homelike. Nick was happy as he crawled inside the tent. He had not been unhappy all day. This was different though. Now things were done. There had been this to do. Now it was done. It had been a hard trip. He was very tired. That was done. He had made his camp. He was settled. Nothing could touch him. It was a good place to camp. He was there, in the good place. He was in his home where he had made it. Now he was hungry.
He came out, crawling under the cheese cloth. It was quite dark outside. It was lighter in the tent.
Hemmingway, In Our Time, Chapter XIV, Big Two Hearted River, part 1
“Thing I object to in detective stories,” said Mr. Piggott, “is the way fellows remember every bloomin’ thing that’s happened to ’em within the last six months. They’re always ready with their time of day and was it rainin’ or not, and what were they doin’ on such an’ such a day. Reel it all off like a page of poetry. But one ain’t like that in real life, d’you think so, Lord Peter?” Lord Peter smiled, and young Piggott, instantly embarrassed, appealed to his earlier acquaintance. “You know what I mean, Parker. Come now. One day’s so like another, I’m sure I couldn’t remember—well, I might remember yesterday, p’r’aps, but I couldn’t be certain about what I was doin’ last week if I was to be shot for it.”
“No,” said Parker, “and evidence given in police statements sounds just as impossible. But they don’t really get it like that, you know. I mean, a man doesn’t just say, ‘Last Friday I went out at ten o’clock a. m. to buy a mutton chop. As I was turning into Mortimer Street I noticed a girl of about twenty-two with black hair and brown eyes, wearing a green jumper, check skirt, Panama hat and black shoes riding a Royal Sunbeam Cycle at about ten miles an hour turning the corner by the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude on the wrong side of the road riding towards the market place!’ It amounts to that, of course, but it’s really wormed out of him by a series of questions.”
Sayers, Whose Body?
“Melanetha was pale yellow and mysterious and a little pleasant like her mother, but the real power in Melanetha’s nature came though her robust and unpleasant and very unendurable black father.”
“Jane was a roughened woman. She had power and she liked to use it, she had much white blood and that made her see clear, she liked drinking and that made her reckless. Her white blood was strong in her and she had grit and endurance and a vital courage. She was always game, however much she was in trouble.”
Each of these passages presents us with a woman who is not only strong but of mixed race. Melanetha, who we meet first, is seen as a ‘pale yellow’ woman with a black father. In this case I believe that the ‘pale yellow’ would stand for a woman of lighter skin, but not pure white skin. This ‘pale yellow’ is not enough as we are told that internally she is like her ‘black’ father. In contrast Jane is a woman who we are told up front is a woman of strength and a clear mind that comes from her ‘white’ blood. We learn from the text that Jane was not dumb, she had attended two years of college and as Melanetha’s teacher of the world one can imagine her passing on what she learned to her; in both cases though we are told that the women are affected by their black parentage in a negative way. These undertones give us the racist idea that to not be of ‘white’ blood makes you weaker and more animal like. It is the ‘white’ part of Jane’s blood that we are told is what makes her ‘see clear’ or in other words makes her intelligent. The internal ‘white’ blood is more important than external. That is Melanetha who is the lighter skinned of the two is the more animal and unpleasant in nature, liker her father. Jane being the seemingly darker of the two is shown us a women of a ‘clear’ mind and one of strength. This inner ‘clear’ mind is explained as a gift from her ‘white’ blood.
Didn’t she enjoy at periods a protection that she paid for by helping among other services, to show the lace and explain it, deal with the tiresome people, answer questions about the dates of the buildings, the style of the furniture, the authorship of the pictures,the favorite haunts of the ghost? It wasn’t that she looked as if you could have given her shillings– it was impossible to look less so. Yet when she finally drifted toward him, distinctly handsome, though ever so much older– older than when he had seen her before– it might have been as ab effect of her guessing that he had,within the couple of hours, devoted more imagination to her that to all the other put together, and had thereby penetrated to a kind of truth that the others were to stupid for.