Analysis of South of the Slot by Jack London Essay

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Analysis of South of the Slot by Jack London

The slot is a metaphor of the “class cleavage of society”. There was a contrast between the North and South of the Slot in terms of building types: in the North were the higher-class centers of diversion, lodging, and business; and in the South were the lower-class centers of lodging, unskilled work/business. The buildings are figures of two contrasting classes that were segregated (?). In order to study the southern people (the working class) a sociology professor of the University of CA, Freddie Drummond (FD), decides to work temporarily as an unskilled laborer. Initially he experiences social problems of adaptation and acceptance by his fellow workers. For example, he doesn’t understand
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He changes his values and attitudes as easily as he changes different types of dress. Social class also shapes his relationships. He conforms to the expectations of the two contrasting classes. He adopts the typical vices and virtues of either class. His food choices, behavior toward women, and character are shaped by the two contrasting environments and settings. He becomes class-conscious, fights in class struggles, and is committed to the welfare of each of his two classes. Mary Condon and Catherine Van Vorst were his two lovers when he was William Totts (WT, or Bill T), and FD, respectively. Eventually he realizes that it would be dangerous to continue such duality, as his love for Mary develops. His love for Mary is mysterious and very intimate. He doesn’t approve polygamy. Thus, struggling with an identity crisis, he decides to be FD, that is, he adopts the middle-class values. However, his experiences as a lower-class worker had left roots in his heart.
Catherine takes FD for a ride in the South of the Slot (SoS) region. They have to stop at a traffic jam caused by the Meats Strike. Watching the fight between the police and the strikers, FD realizes that two different entities have co-existed in his person. Trying to please two contrasting classes, he ends up being divided. As the fight progresses into savagery, his inner conflict is inevitable and aggravates. Catherine faints when she sees the
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