When Cathy reveals her problems to Eleanor, Eleanor is supportive and pities Cathy until it is revealed that Cathy has feelings for Raymond. Eleanor represents the white society which seems to be more okay with someone being homosexual than interracial relationships. Cathy’s options are limited because she cannot freely be with Raymond because people will talk badly about them and hurt Raymond’s daughter. Most people at that time avoided being different from the norm so Cathy was greatly influenced by that.
Also, now that Frank and Cathy are divorced, Cathy must support her children and herself on her own. She is in quite a predicament because it was virtually impossible for a woman to survive on her own with kids during that time. Since Cathy cannot be with Raymond, she has no choice but to attempt survival alone. She is trapoed with no one to turn to for help since the white society dislikes her because of she went out with Raymond. People are bound to find out about the divorce, which some might rumor that it’s because of Raymond, and that would only make things worse for Cathy.
“The instances where poor whites helped slaves were not frequent, but sufficient to show the need for setting one group against the other.”
“The slaveholders … suspected that non-slaveholders would encourage slave disobedience and even rebellion, not so much out of sympathy for the blacks as out of hatred for the rich planters and resentment of their own poverty. White men sometimes were linked to slave insurrectionary plots, and each such incident rekindled fears.” – Genovese
There was a huge fear of fraternalism between poor whites and slaves which explains the “stern police measures against whites who fraternized with blacks.” There was clearly a gap between the rich white people and the poor white people. The poor white people would rather help the slaves, not because they liked them and felt bad for them, but because of their jealousy and hatred towards the rich white community. A report to the Governor of Virginia by Herbert Aptheker stated, “Three white persons are concerned in the plot; and they have arms and ammunition concealed under their houses, and were to give aid when the negroes should begin.” To return the helping hand, slaves would sometimes give food to the poor whites that helped them. Thus was the reason why slaves and Irish workers were segregated when the Brunswick Canal was built, although the excuse was that they feared the two groups would fight and quarrel with each other. In an attempt to control fraternalism and ease the fears of the plantation owners, the two groups were set against each other: poor whites were hired to be the overseers of slave work.