It seemed that only at the two extremes of society, the very top and the very bottom, could there be seen or felt any real freedom.
Very interesting point of view, I thought, while reading "A Father's Law", the recently released previously unpublished final story of literary pioneer Richard Wright. Through his character Rudolph "Ruddy" Turner, a black police captain during the 30's and 40's, Wright tackles issues surrounding both class and race, amongst other intricacies. When I came upon the aforementioned text I thought about it's validity and concluded that Wright had with great precision targeted the free class in America. The middle class as it seems was the only class at odds with it's existence. Scared to fall into the depths of the poor and ever striving to join the ranks of the "comfortable" as they lived a life characterized by both fear and struggle, but never freedom.
Pondering this some more, I was reminded of a guy a few years my senior who I have had occasion to employ over the past few years. I recalled how Clyde Rivers, not his real name, while happy to work for me, didn't seek employment regularly. Although a hard and focused worker when he engaged the practice of earning a living, he chose to work only when he deemed it absolutely necessary. When he had to pay a utility, a fine, or other legality that threatened his way of life. When he wasn't working, he was living life as he wished, moving freely about the urban jungle entertaining "tricks" and other government subsidized citizens. I often scratched my head at this, marveling at the loss potential of what appeared to be an otherwise intelligent brother. What had gone wrong? I wondered. Why did he fail to engage the same work ethic when not agreeing to my offer of service? Surely, it wasn't for lack of an opportunity. But now, after considering Wright's theory I see things differently and I'm left to wonder if it is I and those like myself "saddled" in the middle class that are worse off.
Current day politicians speak of a war on the middle class, words I considered as a method of pandering to gain the affections of most Americans, but now I think the thought bears considering. Is the middle class the only group of Americans in bondage? Poor people have accepted their position in life on some level. And while they may rail against the government at times with regard to policies, they accept their position as the way it is. The brighter of the group have gone as for as devising well thought out plans that allow them to watch their favorite television programs, indulge in illicit activity all while receiving their economic sustenance while I labor week in and week out to afford such trivial items as the 53" HDTV that I have my eye on. And I thought I was smart. It would appear, by Ruddy Turner's view, that I am but a slave seeking how to be free.
Purchase online - Richard Wright: A Father's Law
About the host:
Rich Fitzgerald is the author of the short story "One to Remember" featured in Love and Redemption (Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by authors who blog. To read excerpts or to order a copy of the title, visit i-Lit. The book is also available on Amazon.