The Diversity of Social Classes and Cultures

The novels, “Untouchable,” by Mulk Raj, “Mrs. Dalloway,” by Virginia Woolf, and “Melanctha,” written by Gertrude Stein, all deal and touch upon social issues; the books themselves are a window into the fictional lives of characters that reside in these social but extraordinarily different classes. In Virginia Woolf’s fiction, Mrs. Dalloway is apart of the aristocracy and is a female patrician, whose soul desire is to host elaborate, and elegant parties for the community in order to find and attain a sense of identity and belonging. A sophisticated women dealing with issues that pertain to lost lost and self-identity. Septimus, an educated veteran who has returned from the First World War, suffers from shell-shock and post-traumatic stress disorder. Where as, Bahka, the protagonist in the “Untouchable,” faces challenges that severely limit him as a human being. He belongs to a civil class that puts him lower than the rest of his community: he is seen as a pariah, a sweeper, an “untouchable,” due to his position as a cleaner of latrines. In Stein’s, “Melanctha,” the author gives us a window into the life of a young, attractive, African American girl, who is on her journey to find lasting happiness, sensibility, and ultimately, stability in her life as she becomes a woman. Unfortunately, due to Melanctha’s¬†personal behavior, she is outcast by the community and left alone by even her closest friends. ¬†All three 20th century novels deal with social classes and issues that may have been unaware or overlooked by society until they were written.