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Class and Rank

Class and Rank

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Published by SirSanta OfClaws

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Published by: SirSanta OfClaws on May 17, 2010
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05/21/2012

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Charlie Mershon
The paradox that lies within society regarding the class system and the privilege thatothers are given by their birth right over another in terms of what they are allowed to haveand how they are allowed to act. This demonstrates itself countless times though out our society in regards to criminal acts, extramarital affairs, and behavior on the behalf of anindividual in which some classes would be looked down on or shunned, and others wouldsimply be passed off as normal or expected.Our society engrained with the doctrine that romantic love is an essential tool inwhich we must all attain to achieve happiness or be complete in our lives believe incorrectly.If a historic tracing on the topic were performed, the evidence would show that this is not thecase rather it is a product of a sociological development in which the upper class who arenormally privileged are subjected to the highest levels of scrutiny. We first see this behavior demonstrated in the middle Ages and in our writings in the Haptemeron, Star of Seville,Dangerous Liaisons, and Marriage of Figaro. In each of these tales, there is a showing of how people in the upper classes are under more scrutiny than their lower class counter parts.One’s rank in nature was decided by the arrangements into which one had been born.The fledglings of serf parents would remain a serf for life and work the earth of thearistocratic family into whose service he or she was born. A aristocratic child would inheritthe ascended mark of his or her family and would likely adhere that condition in the course of his or her life. Thus, the defining distinguishing of the medieval feudal communal mold isthis conjecture of acknowledged situation. The dilemma affected by this notion of accreditedstatus is a lack of social incentive for superiority.There lies a deeper context to this class conflict as well tied into both feudal andcapitalist cultures and to their corresponding patriarchal structures. Romantic love is acomplex establishment dependent upon defined roles. These clearly defined roles serve toenforce dominant notions of gender and this means that males will be given privilege over women. In the case of Valmont lies a perfect example or in the case of Nero, both men being
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Charlie Mershon
of the highest aristocracy and Nero being emperor obviously has no challenges to hisdecisions or judgment, and Valmont being of the highest aristocratic family has nothing tofear from his notable reputation which he proudly flaunts initially. Laclos makes a spectacleof this social disorder and chaos however, by demonstrating that even the holy can fall intotheir own traps in the case of Merteuil where she is exposed in the public eye and her flawsand exploits are shown. The public turns on her and shuns her for being the “devious” beingthat she has chosen to be.The avocation of love however is not completely lost here, these clearly defined rolesserve to dominate perceptions of gender and social and economic position. Had these twocharacters been of the servant class their exploits would have been passed off as simple buggery and not of significance. The lower class as demonstrated in the Marriage of Figaro inthe characters of Figaro, and Susanna. For their actions would never have been viewed as promiscuous or ill behaved as either the Count or the Countess. Love is constructeddifferently for the individuals depending on their class for those in lower classes the loveseems more genuine then the love of that of the aristocracy and monarchy. Those in power have what may appear to be genuine love, however more often than not these are arrangedmarriages and the people do not like one another, if they even know one another prior tomeeting. Where in those in lower class have to interact with various people every day and intheir experience and lack of requirement to marry within their class or nobility are allowedmore freedom to choose who it is they fall in love with.Love is also more of a social construct as seen in cases where someone falls in lovewith an individual or believes that they have due to a characteristic of that individual (I.E.Valence, Nobility, or Economic status) when in reality they are fooling themselves and nottruly in love with anyone yet in love with the idea or condensation of love.These analogies of love through the social classes also demonstrate something aboutthe classes themselves in that they are depending on their social order prisoners in their own
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