Themes of She Stoops to Conquer
Analysis of the Theme of Class and class bias In She Stoops to Conquer
Class and class bias
She Stoops to Conquer is not explicitly a study on class but the theme is central to it. The decisions the characters make and their perspectives on one another, are all largely based on what class they are a part Where Tony openly loves low-class people like the drunks in the Three Pigeons, Marlow must hide his love of low-class women from his father and "society." His dynamic relationship with Kate (and the way he treats her) is defined by who he thinks she is at the time from high-class Kate to a poor barmaid to a woman from a good family but with no fortune. Hastings' and Marlow's reaction to Hardcastle is also a great example of the importance of class they find him impudent and absurd, because they believe him to be of low class, but his behaviour would be perfectly reasonable and expected from member of the upper class, as he truly is. Class bias manifests in the way some of the characters respond to one another and situations. For instance, until Kate
teaches him a lesson, Marlow responds to women solely on the basis of their status in society. He looks down on women of the lower class but is wholly at ease around them: he esteems women of the upper class but shy around them. Like the London society in which he was brought up, he assumes that all women of a certain class think and act according to artificial and arbitrary standards expected of that class. As for Mrs Hardcastle, she appea to assess a person by the value of his or her possessions.
Analysis of the Theme of Class, power and social status In She Stoops to Conquer
Class, power and social status
Class, power and social status can be examined by comparatively looking at men vs. women; parents vs. children; rich vs. poor; young vs. old. Whilst our sex is decided at birth, our gender is much more about society's views of masculinity and femininity. In the play, Goldsmith makes us laugh at the way men and women, as fathers, mothers, lovers, young and old, rich and poor behave but in doing so he also raises important questions about society. Consider the presentation of the differing relationships between Kate and her father and Tony and his mother; consider the powerlessness of women and their consequent need for men with money; and just why does Mrs Hardcastle feel the need to keep hold of the jewels? In Act II, Mrs Hardcastle fakes sophistication with Hastings but, through Goldsmith's use of dramatic irony, we recognize her falseness.
Analysis of the Theme of Love has no regard for social In She Stoops to Conquer
Love has no regard for social boundaries Although prevailing attitudes among England's elite classes frown on romance between one of their own and a person of humble origin, Marlow cannot help falling in love with acommon binmair (who is, of course, Kate in disguise).
Analysis of the Theme of Hope for flawed humanity In She Stoops to Conquer
Hope for flawed humanity
Although Marlow makes a fool of himself as a result of his upper class bias Kate has enough common sense to see through London arrogance encasing him and and to appreciate him for his genuinely good qualities which are considerable once He allow them to surface. Mrs Hardcastle, in spite of her misguided values, also enjoys the love if her practical, down to earth husband. He too, is willing to look beyond her foibles in favour of her good points.
Analysis of the Theme of Trickery and mockery In She Stoops to Conquer
Trickery and mockery
laugh Marlow being duped yet it is through this mocking that Goldsmith more easily drives home criticisms of society and its views on, for example, fathers and mothers, femininity, d marriage. In Act IV, Hastings' letter to Tony acts as a metaphor for the play's theme of deception and disguise; with the refined handwriting perhaps making it indecipherable, much as the surface
refinements of "genteel life" hide the "true" person underneath.
Analysis of the Theme of Deceit/Trickery In She Stoops to Conquer
Much of this play's comedy comes from the trickery played by various characters. The inost important deceits come from Tony, including his lie about Hardcastle's home and his scheme of driving his mother and Constance around in circles. However, deceit also reaches to the centre of the play's more major themes. In a sense, the only reason anyone learns anything about their deep assumptions about class and behaviour is because they are duped into seeing characters in different ways, This truth is most clear with Marlow and his shifting perspective on Kate, but it is also true for the Hardcastles Charles, who are able to see the in others because of what trickery Apparently, appearance vs. reality: openness and truth vs deception: fine speech actions, become the tools for navigating this theme.
Analysis of the Theme of Appearance Vs. Reality In She Stoops to Conquer
Appearance Vs. Reality
much of the comedy and reality
play depends on between appearance and reality. After all Marlow's misperception of Mr Hardcastle's house as an inn drives the narrative action in the first place. Ironically, Goldsmith's comedy allows appearance to lead to the discovery of Kate's deception leads her to discover Marlow's true nature. Falling in love when he thinks barmaid, he declares his decision to defy society and marry her her a class. Her falsehood in spite of the differences in their social allows him to relax with her and reveal his true self.
Analysis of the Theme of Behaviour/Appearance In She Stoops to Conquer
One of the elements Goldsmith most criticizes' in his play's satirical moments is the aristocratic emphasis on behaviour as a gauge of character. Even though we today believe that one's behaviour in terms of "low" versus "high" class behaviour does not necessarily indicate who someone is. many characters in the play a often blinded to a character's behaviour because of an assumption
For instance, Marlow and Hastings treat Hardcastle cruelly because they think him the landlord of and are confused by his behaviour, which seems 'brazen'. The same behaviour would have seemed appropriately high-class if they had not been fooled by Tony. Throughout the play, characters (especially Marlow) assume they understand someone's behaviour when what truly guides them is their
assumption of the other character's class.
Analysis of the Theme of The love of appearance over substance In She Stoops to Conquer
The love of appearance over substance
This is very much 'noticeable' as a theme in this play. It is manifest in many small symbols, like the way Marlow and Hastings decide how to dress in order to best present themselves, or the way
Hardcastle seeks comfort over age, hoping it will not make her unfashionable. Yet the truth is that the "high" appearance of things is not the truth, but merely a guise behind which lies the baser
nature of humans. Much of this thematic content is apparent in the act's signature scene, the meeting of Kate and Marlow. Many things are happening here. Firstly, it is a wonderful parody of sentimental dialogue. One would expect the two lovers in a sentimental comedy (a think of today's romantic comedies) to express acceptable philosophies about life to one another, but here, Marlow is shy unable to say anything, and it is the woman who has to put those words in his mouth. It is as though that is leading him into the sentimental conversation expected of them, while all the while she enjoys of situation. However, the substance ofthe conversation does touch on the play's theme: the importance of living, rather than observing life. Ironically, Marlow believes he has only engaged in the latter, because he lacks adeptness at speaking with modest women. Kate, on the other hand, believes that Marlow's lively nature (which she has not seen yet) is the way to actually experience life. He has been blinded by aristocratic expectation to look down on his own pursuits, while right in front of his face is an aristocratic woman who would value such in him if he had the courage to reveal it.
Analysis of the Theme of Truth and falsehood In She Stoops to Conquer
Truth and falsehood
Thematically related to the theme of appearance and reality, Goldsmith uses falsehood to reveal the truth. Most obviously Tony's lie about Mr Hardcastle's mansion being an inn produces the truth of the lovers' affections. Lying also leads to poetic justice. When Constance asks to wear her jewels, Mrs Hardcastle lies and tells her they have been lost. Tony takes the jewels to give to Hastings, and when Mrs Hardcastle goes to find them, they have been lost. Her lie has become true.
Analysis of the Theme of Sex roles In She Stoops to Conquer
In many ways, Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer satirizes the ways the eighteenth-century society believed that proper men and women ought to behave. While the play shows the traditional pattern of male-female relations in Hastings's wooing of Constance, it also reverses the era's sexual etiquette
Analysis of the Theme of Money In She Stoops to Conquer
One of the factors that keeps the play pragmatic even when it veers close to contrivance and sentiment is the unavoidable importance of money. While some of the characters, like Marlow and Hardcastle, are mostly unconcerned with questions of money, there are several characters whose lives are largely
defined by a lack of access to it. Constance cannot run away with Hastings because she worries about a life without her inheritance. When Marlow thinks Kate is a poor relation of the Hardcastles, he cannot get himself to propose because of her lack of dowry. In the case of Tony, he seems to live a life unconcerned with wealth, although the implicit truth is that his dalliances (flirtations) are facilitated by having access to wealth.
Analysis of the Theme of Money breeds indolence In She Stoops to Conquer
Money breeds indolence
Tony will get 1,500 pounds a year when he comes of age. Thus, without financial worries, he devotes himself to ale and a do-nothing life.
Analysis of the Theme of Culture: old vs. new; age vs. youth; In She Stoops to Conquer
Culture: old vs. new; age vs. youth; country vs. city Goldsmith creates a clash of cultures between country and city. We laugh at the reactionary nature of Hardcastle but also at the empty superficiality of Marlow: neither way of life is presented as ideal. Goldsmith undercuts the surface sophistication of city types by contrasting them with Tony Lumpkin a man often of blunt and unsophisticated common sense. This is evident from the very first scene where Hardcastle himself as old in age and manner in contrast to the youth of bis daughter and city ideals embraced by Hardcastle.
Analysis of the Theme of Moderation In She Stoops to Conquer
Throughout the play runs a conflict between the refined attitudes of town and the simple behaviours of
the country. The importance of this theme is underscored by the fact that it is the crux of the opening disagreement between Hardcastle and his wife. Where country characters like Hardcastle see town manners as pretentious, town characters like Marlow see country manners as 'rustic'. The best course
of action is proposed through Kate, who is praised by Marlow as having a "refined simplicity." Having lived in the city.... she is able to appreciate the values of both sides of life and can find happiness in
appreciating the contradictions that exist between them.
Analysis of the Theme of Contradiction In She Stoops to Conquer
Many of the characters in the play desire that the others are simple to understand. This in many ways mirrors the expectations ofan audience that Goldsmith wishes to mock. Where his characters are initially presented as comic types, he spends time throughout the play complicating them all by showing their contradictions. Most clear are the contradictions within Marlow, who is both refined and base. The final happy ending comes when the two oldest men-Hardcastle and Sir Charles decide to accept the contradictions in their children. In a sense, this theme helps to understand Goldsmith's purpose in the play, reminding us that all people are worthy of being miocked because of their silly, base natures. and no one is above reproach.
Analysis of the Theme of Comedy In She Stoops to Conquer
Though it is only explicitly referred to in the prologue, an understanding of Goldsmith's play in context shows his desire to reintroduce his audience to the "laughing comedy that deived from a
long history of comedy that mocks human vice. This type of comedy stands in contrast to the then-popular “sentimental comedy” that praised
virtues and reinforced bourgeois mentality. Understanding Goldsmith’s love of the former helps to clarify several elements of the play: the low scene in the Three Pigeons; the mockery of baseness in even the most high-bred characters; and the celebration of absurdity as a fact of human life.
Analysis of the Theme of Money Breeds Indolence In She Stoops to Conquer
Money Breeds Indolence
Tony Lumpkin will get 1,500 pounds a year when he comes of age. Thus, without financial worries, he devotes himself to ale and a do-nothing life.