Berndt, Katrin (2020):
"Trapped in Class? Material Manifestations of Poverty and Prosperity in Alice Munro’s “Royal Beatings” and “The Beggar Maid”." Neohelicon 47.2: 521-535.
Journal Article

This article argues that material objects in Canadian writer Alice Munro’s short fiction both reflect socio-economic concerns of pre- and post-WWII Canadian society and complicate common conceptions of deprivation and material ambition. The analyses of “Royal Beatings” and “The Beggar Maid” demonstrate how Munro describes economic hardships, class anxieties, and social discrimination and distinction through items of material culture such as clothes, furniture, and paintings. These objects and their symbolic significance draw attention to the conflicts resulting from the interplay of her characters’ upbringings, loyalties, and their longings and aspirations.