Summary In The Carterer By Margaret Carter

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it as it bowed its head under the tenement above” (39). The words “failed,” “boarded-up,” “dimly” and “bowed” all have a negative connotation, and give the impression of the building being downtrodden and unwelcoming. Melanie’s perspective conveys the common perception of the lower class being undesirable, while the upper class is viewed as something people should strive to become a part of. The fact that these polarized factions of society exist is evidence of a prevailing economy that ensures that the wealthy benefit from the troubles of the working class. In addition to the contradictory states of the two homes portrayed in the novel, the outward appearance of the characters is a second aspect of the society that reflects the opposing social classes. From the beginning of the novel, Melanie is fixated on looks, particularly when it comes to clothing. On page ten, the narrator gives an image of Melanie’s mother being “born dressed,” wearing articles such as “a wide-brimmed brown velvet hat with a black ribbon rose” (10). Similarly to the description of the parents’ home, opulent words like “velvet,” “ribbon rose,” and the inference to the mother having effortless style with ”born dressed” leads the reader to associate Melanie and her parents with the finest parts of their culture. Carter makes a definite point to only elaborate on the extreme ends of the social spectrum, making it easier to pick up on the inequalities between the two differing ways of life that are a
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