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To Capture What We Cannot Keep
This love story set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower is "vibrant...
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Discuss the portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?

Created: 10/19/17

Replies: 7

Posted Oct. 19, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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Discuss the portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?

Jamie describes Cait as "a lady with real class," despite the fact that she is penniless. Discuss the complex and nuanced portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?


Posted Oct. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
normar

Join Date: 05/15/11

Posts: 21

RE: Discuss the portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?

The subject of class is complicated in the book. Caitriona is not treated like a servant by Alice and Jamie. But she is not their equal


Posted Oct. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
victoriah

Join Date: 08/22/17

Posts: 16

RE: Discuss the portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?

Yes, I often wondered how Cait acquired her "classiness" - she had not much money, was an abused wife, was not well educated yet seemed to be very open-minded to new circumstances; however, she initially lacked the self-confidence and boldness that many aristocratic women often had at that time. She had the strength to bypass the small step up the social ladder that a marriage to the unsuitable Scottish candidate would have meant.
Alice, in her childish but audacious way was completely taken in by the "count", and learned a bit about decency vs.materialism.


Posted Oct. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 39

RE: Discuss the portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?

Class and societal positions were illustrated quite well in this novel. Women of this time period had little to no rights and had to conform to their "place". Cait's character once again emphasized that "real class" does not always require money. She persevered and would not give it to what was expected of a woman who a became a widow in the 1800s. The author's descriptions of the workers and labor troubles building this audacious tower added to the depth of the story. Emile, too, had a place in society. He wasn't happy, but made to feel guilty about putting his family's desires above his own. During this period in history, people could not move between the various levels of society as we can today. Cait made the best of her circumstances by moving to Africa to elude a bad marriage or becoming a widowed governess.


Posted Oct. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyl

Join Date: 04/15/12

Posts: 83

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RE: Discuss the portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?

The portrayal of different classes is interesting in the novel. Even among those of so called "higher" classes, there are gradations. New money is not valued as much as old money.


Posted Nov. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sandrah

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Discuss the portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?

Overall, it is well done. Colin shows us this through their rather rigid places in a society that defined what they could and could not do as well as how difficult it was to find happiness within those rigid limitations.


"The reader lives a 1000 lives before he dies. The [person] who never reads lives only one."
George R.R. Martin.
Posted Nov. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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patriciag

Join Date: 07/11/14

Posts: 13

Class and society

This seems to be a time period which shows the gradual blurring and eventual dismantlement of class lines. Cait is a “modern” woman who seems willing and able to cross lines and make her own, independent way in the world. Manufacturing money begins to take precedence over “old” money; people move more forcefully across class lines despite the artificial barriers set up by society, although the consequences can still be difficult.


patricia gurnak
Posted Nov. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 38

RE: Discuss the portrayal of class in To Capture What We Cannot Keep. How is class tied to material wealth, education, social status, and family? How do the classes mix in the novel, and what is the fallout?

I thought the idea of class was done well in the book. But you could sense this shift in the class structure in Paris. What influence did art and the Impressionist movement play in this? It seemed to make more things possible for men of course, but the roles of women did not become more free. Poor Cait had no real options in her life and when she was widowed,even less. Its sad to think she had to go to Africa to feel she was leading a meaningful life and could not find that at home. Not even with her sister. And Alice, as beautiful as she was could only be an ornament to some husband. She could only hope for a good match to have a secure future.


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