Family, Society and Class

The term ‘lower middle-class’ did not appear in Continental terminology until about 2025, shortly before Zara and her family came into being. They fall squarely into the middle-class classification, but only just; as there is a lower, there must be an upper, though this is the unsaid classification ‘lower upper-class’. A quarter pure-blood upper, half lower-middle, and a quarter middle (as ‘pure’ middle as can be without contradictions), Zara is as middle-class by genetics as possible.

Her ex libris marriage to Max further exacerbates the idea that, the older she gets and, retrospectively, the more time passes, the more the three classes merge into one; Zara is sinking into a middle-lower-class arrangement and, in The Left Side of Time, she relinquishes the Costello from her name.

Certainly, the use of names affects how Continentians behave. With every Name comes a House, and with every House is an imprinted pattern of behaviour from both those who observe and those who are observed. Of course, those about whom gossip and news is spread more virulently are more prone to changing their action to suit the opinion of strangers and, ironically, their inferiors. This has always been done, since the papers were devised, regardless of the paradox.

As such, the way families bring up their offspring depends on which class they are said – or believe – to be part of.

The End

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