Eleanor And Park And 's Ship Breaker : Social Class 's Affect On The Characters

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Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park and Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker display social class’s affect on the characters’ lives. Eleanor and Park contrasts the high and low classes through the family and relationship love and violence. Eleanor comes from an abusive home that is part of the lower class, while Park’s family is more fortunate and intense than Eleanor’s household. Ship Breaker creates a parallel between the two classes through violence. However, family relationships in different classes are portrayed like in Rowell’s novel. The lower class deals with betrayal and the upper class have loyalty. In Eleanor and Park and Ship Breaker, the relationships and interactions between families and others in society are different depending on…show more content…
In contrast, the “Swanks” – the upper class – will sacrifice everything showing their loyalty to each other. After Nailer and Pima rescue Nita from her near-death, she tells them that her father will offer them “[m]ore than all the wealth [she has] got on [her] ship” (Bacigalupi 112). People in the lower class bring betrayal to their families, while people of the higher class show complete loyalty. Eleanor and Park’s class not only affects their relationships with their families, but also with each other. Park’s way of expressing his love reflects the loving nature that his family shows him. Park and his father both have an interest in women who are different. Park thinks that his Korean mother “kept the accent on purpose, because his dad liked it” (Rowell 46). Just as his dad marries a Korean woman – someone of a different race, Park starts a relationship with Eleanor – someone different from others. Both women’s appearances are different from their community, and both Park and his father come to love these differences. Park’s love for Eleanor is also expressed more greatly because Park knows love from his family. Unlike Park, Eleanor’s family expresses very minimal love (if any) towards her, which results in Eleanor’s held back love. Eleanor abandons Park at the end of the story like her mother abandoned her. Also, Eleanor keeps her love hidden even at the end when she writes a letter

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