Views Of The Working Class In &Amp;Quot;Howard'S End&Amp;Quot; And &Amp;Quot;The 42nd Parallel&Amp;Quot;

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The early 20th century was a turbulent time for much of the world’s working class, and quite a bit of the literature that came out of that time period puts at least some focus on the trials and tribulations of this group. E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End gives the reader a view of the English Upper class and what they thought of the bottom rung of society. The novel also takes a look into the life of an average lower class couple and paints a picture of their struggle to move up in society. On the other hand, John Dos Passos’s The 42nd Parallel follows the lives of five different people in the United States, all from the working class. The author takes from his own experiences and shows us what it would have been like to live during this time period as an average American. Both of these novels work to explain the motivations of the working class, but do so in very different ways. Overall, The 42’nd Parallel focuses quite a bit more on the working class than Howard’s end does. Five separate characters are followed, each with a different set of ideals and goals. The novel takes place during the somewhat international movement for better conditions and pay for the working class. One of the characters (Mac) is especially involved in the workers rights movement and ends up being a big member of the I.W.W. and travels to Mexico to help with the workers revolution there. It seems that this book gets the reader more personally involved in the lives of the characters. The author gives you a direct link to the thoughts of each character, which helps you understand their motivations. This personal understanding of the working class is less apparent in Howard’s End. Each character seems to have a personal mantra that they see as the key to their success in the world (J.W. Moorehouse for instance values cleanliness, a ‘cleancut young executive’ [The 42’nd Parallel, Pg.

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