ewpfs
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I’m writing a personal statement for English lit and I’ve decided to write it about literature that reflects inequality/classism as social justice is something I feel very passionate about.

Does anyone have any suggestions of novels/plays (preferably classics as well as contemporary) that discuss these issues?
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Englishteacher24
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If social justice and how it is expressed in literature is important to you, you probably should have read things to do with themes of inequality / classism before writing your personal statement rather than reading texts for your personal statement.

This is also a broad topic. You could look at social inequality in texts like The Great Gatsby or The House of Mirth (most things by Fitzgerald or Wharton really). You could look at the inequality of the sex-gender hierarchy in texts like The Handmaid's Tale. You could look at racial inequality in texts like Invisible Man or Heart of Darkness.

Perhaps you could narrow down your interests further by focussing on a specific time period. You could also consider things like how Marxist readings can illuminate texts or the nature of textual production / literary prestige and how certain groups of people have, historically, been able to publish texts or write while others have not. You could research the literary canon and how it has changed with time to be more inclusive.
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TabithaFord99
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(Original post by ewpfs)
I’m writing a personal statement for English lit and I’ve decided to write it about literature that reflects inequality/classism as social justice is something I feel very passionate about.

Does anyone have any suggestions of novels/plays (preferably classics as well as contemporary) that discuss these issues?
To begin with, I'd suggest you set some red lines on what is within scope of your statement - ie discount literature from the U.S, as the country was founded on principles of egalitarianism and has a different social structure from the UK, which has evolved from feudalism. What period are you going to look at? What aspects are you interested in exploring - eg how class impacts on women's lives? (in Jane Austen this would be marriage, we see in the work of the Brontes how women are forced into roles they may not wish to occupy)

While this is a huge subject, there are probably some core literary texts that one would expect to be at least mentioned in any discussion of "social class (and inherent iniquities) in literature" - for example: Charles Dickens should be mentioned; probably Henry Mayhew's "London Labour and the London poor" deserves a reference too. "The ragged trousered philanthropists"; you might want to look at "room at the top" and some 'kitchen sink' dramas, you could also touch on some class outsiders - we see in novels like Sebastian Faulks' "Engleby" how background and class is still a means of excluding people, and what that can do them.

These are just random thoughts, as this is a very large canvas, so try and focus down on what you want to say.
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