The Overcoat

The Appearances of Class, and How They Impact Other's Perceptions College

The issue of class and its representations is consistently present in society, and pervades everyday life to a significant degree, especially when considering the social dynamics of the past century; as such, it is also very prominent in literature, where it can be portrayed in a variety of different manners. Primarily, however, the class divides can be seen in the juxtaposition of individuals with both lower and higher means, and in some of these individuals' imitations of a higher quality of life. In Nikolai Gogol's The Overcoat, the main character unintentionally broadcasts a more lavish lifestyle than what his true means are, and finds that people instantly take notice of things of that nature; in Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich, a man who had tried to imitate those of higher social standing throughout his life found that, in the end, the pursuit of luxuries can have unforeseen consequences; finally, in Marcel Proust's Swann's Way, interactions between bourgeoisie individuals are examined, and the lines between social classes are illustrated through the author's observations. Through the examination of the "typical" means of these characters and the socioeconomic status that they broadcast, the connections between...

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