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Her daughter is very young and is expecting a child

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in the category of a “typical black male”: angry and violent. Her daughter is very young and is expecting a child of her own which she is not prepared to care for. Another one of Claudine’s sons skips school to gamble, while another does not even speak. Her children have become the stereotypical children in a working class family. Although Zweig makes many claims that are clearly played out in the film Claudine, I think the film also challenges some of his views. It is obvious that society has an impact on Claudine’s lifestyle, but all of her hardships are not due to the pressures of society. As Roop stated in the film, she did have the six children. Not to say that it is right to believe that the working class is a result of individuals mistakes but it would also not be right to completely blame society. Claudine made certain choices that had nothing to do with her class standing and because of those choices her life was made harder. Through Zweig’s book, and through watching Claudine, we see that society has a clear affect on the working class, but society does not solely determine the lives of those in the working class. As Zweig discusses, the class system is a power struggle, we see that Claudine has very little power and therefore she experiences the hardships of the working class but we also see that she lives a very “normal” life. Although she may live below a certain standard, her family dynamic is very similar to that of any other class. Her children fight then resolve their problems and come together, they judge Roop but eventually grow to like him, and Claudine falls in love. Any other family goes through many of the things Claudine and her family experience, yet they are viewed as completely different just because they are in a lower class. Regardless of who is to “blame” for the lifestyle of the working class, it is 5
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obvious that changes need to be made for the overall benefit of society. The working class is essential and very much a part of our society. We must refrain from falsely viewing them as middle class and work towards improving the standard of living. The working class is wrongly treated on a daily basis in the work place, they are stuck in their place because of the welfare system and their lack of resources, and their lifestyle is clearly below what most people would consider desirable. Claudine’s case may be extreme, but her story makes Zweig’s arguments much more obvious and easy to understand. 6
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