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Meats Essay

1631 words - 7 pages

In both novels, Caught by Lisa Moore and Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates, the reader is shown how a poor upbringing and the environment of a constant struggle for youth can lead to a life of crime and poor decisions. In some form or another, this is proven in both novels through the characters of Legs Sadovsky and David Slaney. Although Slaney's upbringing dealt with more monetary issues in comparison to Legs who was subject to a life of alcoholism, abuse and oppression, both environments distanced the characters from freedom. Through the similarities presented by David and Legs and the struggles that they face throughout the novel, the theory of Marxism within society is portrayed.From the ...view middle of the document...

For instance, Legs "has memorized having been brought to these beer joints by her parents for years and then, after her mothers death, by her father, and probably at this very moment Ab Sadovsky is standing at the bar of, say, Acey-Deucy's, drinking in the company of Muriel and their friends"(pg.12) however she "wont think of him, or of Muriel, any of that, "unsuitable" environment"(pg.12), a scene that any normal child would see as a rather unsuitable environment. Although Slaney was brought up in a slightly more "suitable" environment than Legs, it still held him back from freedom that someone from a higher class could have attained. This is shown when he is presented the opportunity to buy his freedom by way of bail. His parents lived from paycheck to paycheck so they were unable to provide sufficient funds to buy his freedom. This is where the theory of Marxism and the fact that people of a lower social status are unfairly treated when it comes to the law, for example if a wealthier individual were to commit the same crime as Slaney, they would be able to pay for freedom however Slaney does not have the ability to do so. Even Hearn who was eventually able to pay his bail basically debilitated his entire family as his father "had liquidated his business, got a second mortgage on his home [and] put up everything he had for Hearn's bail" (pg. 79). In this case it was not exactly his unstable home environment that would have shifted his beliefs leading him to a life of crime but it was his lack of wealth that drove him to find wealth through criminal behavior, selling marijuana. Legs and Slaney are both considered to be in the "lower" class of society however Legs is a member of a more violent impoverished class, and she experiences the same situation during her prison time. David Slaney belongs to a slightly more successful less violent social class resulting in a lack of violence during his oppression. There are some direct similarities between both characters upbringing and their life in prison.The overall purpose of the penal system in both Foxfire and Caught is to turn delinquent or criminal individuals into law-abiding citizens. There are many different forms of prison in the world all having their own unique system of turning their inmates into ideal citizens. This can be done through violence and intimidation shown in the case of Legs in Foxfire or by breaking down an inmate mentally and trying to shift his or her belief system and way of thinking shown in the case of David Slaney. Legs Sadovsky makes one of many of her poor decisions throughout the novel when she steals a truck and crashes it. She is then sent to Red Bank State Correctional Facility for Girls. Simply looking at the name of this prison with the word "correctional" the reader knows that Legs will go through a period where her mindset is going to be tested and they will attempt to change or "correct" her. As mentioned previously the method of "correction" that Red Bank...

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