South of the slot, by Jack London The slot is a metaphor of the "class cleavage of society." There was a contrast between the North and South of the Slot in terms of building types: in the North were the higher-class centers of diversion, lodging, and business; and in the South were the lower-class centers of lodging, unskilled work / business . The buildings are figures of two contrasting classes that were segregated (? ). In order to study the southern people (the working class) a sociology professor of the University of CA, Freddie Drummond (FD), decides to work temporarily as an unskilled laborer. Initially he experiences social problems of adaptation and acceptance by his fellow workers.
For example, he doesn't understand their insistent admonitions to reduce his work pace. As a result of his fierce competition against them, by the 6 th day FD doubles his earnings. He misunderstands their lack of loyalty to the business, and looks down on them. Being unable to convince Drummond, and as a last resort, his co-workers jumped on him and attacked him so badly that he becomes ill. Once recovered, Drummond changes job. He finds himself working as a fruit-distributor among the women and decides not to change their work conditions.
In six months, Drummond works at many jobs, and succeeds in imitating a genuine worker. As FD makes tentative generalizations about the working class, he is applauded by the business people, who divulge and spread his studies to the working class. FD begins crossing more often the Slot, and staying longer in the South. He acquires a dual life and personality, as he internalizes the values of the working-class. He changes his values and attitudes as easily as he changes different types of dress.
Social class also shapes his relationships. He conforms to the expectations of the two contrasting classes. He adopts the typical vices and virtues of either class. His food choices, behavior toward women, and character are shaped by the two contrasting environments and settings. He becomes class-conscious, fights in class struggles, and is committed to the welfare of each of his two classes. Mary Condon and Catherine Van Verst were his two lovers when he was William To tts (WT, or Bill T), and FD, respectively.
Eventually he realizes that it would be dangerous to continue such duality, as his love for Mary develops. His love for Mary is mysterious and very intimate. He doesn't approve polygamy. Thus, struggling with an identity crisis, he decides to be FD, that is, he adopts the middle-class values. However, his experiences as a lower-class worker had left roots in his heart. Catherine takes FD for a ride in the South of the Slot (SoS) region.
They have to stop at a traffic jam caused by the Meats Strike. Watching the fight between the police and the strikers, FD realizes that two different entities have co-existed in his person. Trying to please two contrasting classes, he ends up being divided. As the fight progresses into savagery, his inner conflict is inevitable and aggravates. Catherine faints when she sees the bloodshed; and FD experiences his last metamorphosis into his dual BT, his former identity dies once for all. Leaving Catherine amazed, Bill intervenes, siding with the strikers he loses FD inhibitions, and fights valiantly.
He becomes the hero in that fight, and eventually the mob breaks though to defeat the scabs and the police. The scene becomes chaotic with the horses running wild. Other unions join together in (other) strikes.