The characters inhabit a patriarchal, unalterably hierarchal society, where class—and the chasms it creates—is front and center.
1590s, "deep crack in the earth," from Latin chasma, from Greek khasma "yawning hollow, gulf," related to khaskein "to yawn," and thus to chaos. In English in 17c. often spelled chasma. Figurative use from 1640s. Related: Chasmal; chasmic.