A Lost Lady

How does Ivy Peters and his interaction with the Forresters represent social class conflict?


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The initial description of the boys here is similar to that of Tom Sawyer. They are barefoot, carrying fishing rods and "just little boys from the town" (8). This is immediately followed with the extreme horror of Ivy cutting the bird's eyes. From this point on the reader sits on edge, aware that behind every idyllic scene is the possibility of grotesque violence. Ivy is truly beneath the social cast of the Foresters. When Mrs. Forrester kicks Ivy Peters out of her house, she is carefully separating the romantic interior from the outside violence struggling to get in. The fact that Ivy will eventually succeed in not only entering the house but also in dominating it is one of the central themes of the novel. His desire to harm the crafted image that the Forresters evoke is largely produced by his ejection in this scene.