1. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    Spoiled Rich Person, Now A Poor Worker

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Yuli Ban, Mar 1, 2014.

    I come asking for advice on how to write characters who have long been privileged and haughty who are now disadvantaged.
    Of course Mother Meki applies (I'll post about that story another time), but that takes place after a 22nd century Marxist revolution. In which case a teenaged empress gets to "enjoy" the fun of being a forced laborer.
    I want to include scenarios such as an otherwise well off family who happens to fall on hard times. Perhaps their fortune is incinerated by a stock market crash?

    The point of this thread is- upper class now becomes lower class and they are completely unused to work and the lifestyle. What can we do here?
    The only specific scenario I can give is Meki, whom I already mentioned. When you have everything done for you and you suddenly find yourself struggling to make ends meet- perhaps heckled by your former underlings (or an entire government and class in Meki's case) how would you react and what would you do?
     
  2. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    How was the wealth which put them in the upper-class gained to begin with? I'd say a lot of how a person reacts to that much loss would have to do with how they acquired it. Did they inherit it? Did they work for it? Did they 'win' it (stock market or lottery)?

    I'd say most people who inherit something (be it land, money, etc) become sort of entitled, as if they were born to deserve this. Those types of people wouldn't bode well in a society where they have to work for a living. This is seen in all socio-economic classes, and at all ages. If you give a child something enough times, they grow up believing they deserve it by right - mass wealth included.

    During the economic collapse in the thirties, thousands of people killed themselves upon finding out they had lost all of their money. Although that doesn't make much of a story. It might be worth reading up on though, to see how some rich people dealt with it.
     
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  3. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    Good advice, thanks.
    In Mother Meki, it's very complicated, so I'll just go with "inherited".
     
  4. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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  5. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    Ah, many many thanks for the references sir.
    Might you know any that deal with the life of a bourgeois during the dictatorship of the proletariat scenario?
    If not I still thank you for the effort.
     
  6. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Look at the Cultural Revolution in Mao's China. Of course for the Chinese Communists of the 1960s, anything put you into the category of rich and privileged, like having a college education and owning more than one cow.
     
  7. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds like you're going the direction of enforced servitude. But if you want to see how ordinary privileged upper middle class families react and cope when they have to depend on their own labor for basic survival, go on YouTube and watch the PBS series Prairie House. It's enlightening, especially when it comes to the role of the children.
     
  8. Morbius
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    Morbius Member

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    Rich doofus reduced to penniless pauper has been done to death.

    ...but perhaps...

    Rich clever fellow reduced to penniless pauper, but thanking his lucky stars that he was clever enough to plan ahead.

    Numbered Swiss bank accounts, tax shelters, substantial sums of cash locked in safes in hidden locations, none of which can ever be put back into the system (deposited into a bank) without the tax agents and bill collectors stampeding after him.

    Having to live in the shadows, never making significant purchases that can be traced (houses, cars, etc.).

    Plotting and scheming to either find a way to get "back on top", while remaining totally anonymous to keep the tax agents at bay.
     
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  9. ChickenFreak
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  10. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    I know it's been done before. Mother Meki is about a young monarch who actively supports revolt against her own throne and against her father's plutonomic transhumanist government only for Marxists to emerge victorious and cram all the rich into ghettos, slums, and labor camps. Problem being the protagonist is suicidal and masochistic and has to learn the hard way what this will lead to. Not that the alternative (global fascist dystopia) was any better for the masses.
    Well that's what the first two books are about at least. And with violent class war and hatred I hope to learn how to show off the hardships of the formerly well to do elites.
    Before they get purged I mean.
     
  11. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    Whoa Nelly... interesting idea.
    You should follow up on it.
     
  12. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    Nothing has been "done to death."
     
  13. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    Ooh I wonder of the possibilities with a group of elites who have to contend with techno utopianism bringing everyone up to their level, essentially stripping them of their "elite" status.
     
  14. Bryan Romer
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