Study Guide

Crispin: Cross of Lead Society and Class

By Avi

Society and Class

Society and class is a big issue on all the characters' minds in Crispin: The Cross of Lead. Specifically, everyone is concerned with knowing exactly where they fit—and while most characters are confident that they know where that is, some, like Bear, see class as more fluid than others. The book deals mostly with the great divide between the wealth of great lords and the poverty of rural peasants, as seen through the characters of Crispin and Lord Furnival, so though the 14th century boasted a growing middle class, especially in the cities, we don't hear much about it.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. Other than the very rich and the very poor, where do we see evidence of a middle class?
  2. What tools do the very rich use to keep the very poor very poor?
  3. According to the novel, how do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?
  4. Identify and discuss some of the major social classes in the novel.

Chew on This

Cities provide more opportunities for movement between social classes than country manors.

Religion is used to discourage the disadvantaged from trying to change their lives.

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