| Quote #7
So that was what they were like, I thought, these white-handed, high-collared clerks and bookkeepers! I used to glare at young Lovett from a distance and only wished I had some way of showing my contempt for him. (2.9.1)
Jim is critical of the boys in town for the way they treat the hired girls. But is he, too, affected by the social standing of the immigrant girls?
| Quote #8
"Miss Lingard," [Mr. Ordinksy] said haughtily, "is a young woman for whom I have the utmost, the utmost respect." (3.4.21)
It's amazing how far Lena has come. Remember that, when we first heard about her, she was almost a social outcast. Cather shows that not all social barriers are insurmountable.
| Quote #9
"After I'd dressed the baby, I took it out to show it to Ambrosch. He was muttering behind the stove and wouldn't look at it. "You'd better put it out in the rain-barrel," he says. (4.3.37)
While some characters are able to move past social stigma, others are perpetually worried about reputation and social status. This might be one reason Ambrosch wants the child killed – to protect his family's reputation.