Study Guide

From Here to Eternity Society and Class

Society and Class

When it comes to status, it's boys against girls in From Here to Eternity. Alma assigns status a lot of importance—she doesn't want to lead a financially insecure and impoverished life. The fact that Alma wants to rise in the world complicates her relations with Prewitt, and the fact that Warden won't leave his own status behind (albeit for a higher one) messes up his relationship with Karen. Karen doesn't care about Warden's status—but she can't marry him unless he becomes an officer. It's the only way he can transfer out of Holmes' unit.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. Do you think Prewitt and Warden are comfortable with their social status? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think Alma's desire to have a "proper" life is praiseworthy or not?
  3. Why is Warden so proud of being a sergeant that he doesn't want to be an officer? What's his line of thinking about this?

Chew on This

From Here to Eternity critiques the way social status dominates our lives. The reason Alma and Prewitt, and also Karen and Warden, can't be together happily is purely because of the dictates of social divisions.

Or, you could see the movie as making a practical argument about the role social status plays in life. It's not so much criticizing it as explaining how to roll with it.

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