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Class and Agency in Good Kings Bad Kings

Hummingbird's picture

Intersectionality is all over Good Kings, Bad Kings. From Joanne, who has a lot of class privilege but gained that through being disabled to Jimmy, who does not have very much class privilege at all and is a person of color, but is able-bodied. In fact, one of the major intersections that I noticed was between class, ability, and agency. bridgetmartha mentioned age as something that forced dependency for the youths in ILLC. Class is another aspect that forces that dependency, however. For example, Brendan is trapped in his home (when he visits his family) because they live in an apartment on the 3rd floor that is not wheelchair accessible at all. He mentions his brothers or sisters have to carry him up and down the stairs and they don't always want to. Yessie is trapped in ILLC because of the fact that she has no one to take care of her (who can or afford to). Even though she's entirely capable of navigating public transportation and is incredibly independent, she has to follow the rules of ILLC and is forced into dependency on them due to this class barrier. 

Even Michelle Volkman is trapped by class. She keeps her job as long as she does because she need to make her rent payments. She can't afford to get a better car but hopes that the bonuses she gets for recruiting new people she'll be able to at least replace some parts of the car she has. She's unable to begin questioning the morality of her job because she doesn't want to return to her small town and has no other way to support herself. That situation, I would argue, makes it easier for her to live in "willful ignorance" as we described it in class.