Easter From The Coal Tatto And Henry English From American Rust

1287 Words 6 Pages
Throughout this class, we have gotten to know many examples of characters that truly embody the working-class spirit and hold certain values as critical parts of their lives. Two great examples of characters who give the reader a clear picture of a working-class person are Easter from The Coal Tattoo and Henry English from American Rust. These characters represent different aspects of this very important group of people. With Easter, religion, family, and memories are deemed as essential to her life. With Henry English, we see how providing for the family is of utmost importance. These very different characters give the reader a clear picture of the values that a working-class person holds to be sacred as well as the hardships that had to be …show more content…
The reader sees that to him, work represents worth. In the incident with the fire at the factory, English had decided to jump out to save himself. Because of the accident, he was not able to work to support his family anymore and his son, Isaac stayed at home to take care of him for many years. These points made English feel worthless. He believes that if he would have died at work, his family would have been better off and would have thrived with the money paid out by the company. He begins to have suicidal thoughts near the end of the book. He thinks that his family is ashamed of them and find him to be a burden on them. He doesn’t want to hinder his children by him being in the way. “They all want you dead anyway, he thought, your family. You never should have waited this long” (Meyer 349). When a person uses work to define his life, when he is no longer able to fulfill that role, he feels an immense …show more content…
Easter focuses on religion, family, and sentiment as the most important things in her life. Henry used work to define his life and once he was unable to provide for his family, he questioned what his worth was. Similarly, these characters endured tremendous hardships and used family as a way to cope with them, especially Easter. It is very hard to define what a working-class person is using only a couple of examples since from the class we have learned about so many diverse individuals, each contributing to the definition of this group of people we are striving to understand. Discussing what is important in a person’s life, hardships that the person has gone through, and how the hardship is managed helps the reader to define this very diverse and interesting group of

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