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The Shining Status Essay Sample

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The Shining Status Essay Sample

There are people that are poor, some are rich and those who are just fine. We all have differences but we are all human and all need to live, although sometimes the importance of where we stand can come in the way. In the story “The Shining Houses” we experience lots of judgment and differences between people that relate to their popularity and social status. The more the world grows, the more we see the priority of having a high social status in our societies. Alice Munro describes to us a particular situation that can be related to our day to day lives. Marx’s social hierarchy is brought back, the perspectives of the young vs. the old and how a life can be changed so quickly. First of all, in the story “The Shining Houses” by Alice Munro, there are three different types of social class put into one neighborhood. In Marx’s social hierarchy, Mrs. Fullerton represents the poor, hard working, lower class proletariat. She lived in house that was run-down, very old like she was, and self-sufficient. Then there was Mary, who is a member of the rich bourgeoisie. Granted, Mary is not truly rich, she is more of a middle class suburban, although in the story she is part of the powerful bourgeoisie. The rest of the neighbors would be put in the powerful bourgeoisie, but they were truly rich.

The houses they lived in were beautiful, “[t]he bathrooms were beautiful, with three-part mirrors, ceramic tile, and coloured plumbing. The cupboards in the kitchen were light birch or mahogany, and there were copper lighting fixtures there and in the dining ells.” Life was good in the subdivision of Heather drive, that being said having three different types of social statuses in a neighborhood caused several different perspectives to fly around. Secondly, not only in this short story but also in our everyday world we see perspectives of different people flying around; the young, the old, the rich, the poor. Everybody has something to say just like Alice Munro showed us in her story. Mrs Fullerton is old, she has lived in the same house for over forty years and makes a living from selling her products from the farm and animals. . Mrs. Fullerton resists these common bourgeoisie values. To her there is no need for change, her social status in the neighborhood. Mrs. Fullerton is a kind of person that does what she wants and doesn’t listen to what others have to say and does not pay attention to the way things are done differently at times.

These statements are completely opposite for the more young and rich group of people that take part of those of a high social status. In our society and the society in the story the perspective shown is that it’s what’s on the outside that matters most. The looks and the money are number one and one simple person who does not follow that may be seen with lots of judgement. Things need to be new and not run down like Mrs. Fullerton’s house and yard. These different perspectives are not only thoughts that go on in people’s minds but they lead to actions that can mess with those of a lower social status. Thirdly, when you live in a neighborhood like Mrs. Fullerton and see new people moving in and have lived for so long and deal with the world changing it is not easy. Mrs. Fullerton is always filled with hatred against the economically well off upper class. Her way of supporting herself, which was through selling eggs and chickens, is being threatened by the development of low-cost stores. Her home is also in danger, which becomes the central plot-line of the story.

The suburban families, in their perfect, colourful, shining, ‘tiny-box’ houses that seem “to shrink at night into the raw black mountainside” are so concerned with money, and maintaining their high social status. Mrs. Fullerton is victimized when her neighbours decide to petition to have her house bulldozed, claiming its poor conditions take away the beauty of the street, and ultimately, “is bringing down the resale value of every house on the street.” The group tries to make their actions seem not as harsh by saying “it’s the law” and that they “have to think about the community” when in actuality they are doing the exact opposite.

They are thinking only about themselves, and maintaining their social status. Munro, however, contradicts this ideal, with an earlier line by Mrs. Fullerton, who claims “husbands may come and go, but a place you’ve lived for fifty years is something else”. This shows us all that when sometimes something as simple as having a high social status can make people determined to take away whatever is in their way. To conclude, we see people become older and younger people start being the runners of the world we see how the past importance of a social status comes back. There are many different social classes, different perspectives from the old and the young, also many lives are being changed because of a title. Our societies are not perfect, there are many problems that need to be fixed. Munro shows us that sometimes we need to keep “a disaffected heart” even if things are unfair.

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