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Old 01-02-2012, 01:48 PM   #11
paola
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Perhaps my problem is that I read the stories all in one go, but after a while all I could see is the common theme of lashing out at the upper middle classes - and I found he stretched the distance between the gullibility of those at the wrong end of the stick and the wit of the character mastering the situation far too much. Also some wiff of intellectual/class elitism came across: for instance in the Schartz-Metterklume method Lady Carlotta is punishing Mrs. Quabarl (I note a Lady vs a Mrs) for being too pretentious, as she is not the real article, which she would be only by birth.

It has been a while since I finished the book, so I should have another quick browse before commenting any further, in case my gut reaction needs taming , but in terms of the impression left in me after reading Beast and Superbeast, overall I did find a constant undertone of class snobbishness in the way Saki satirizes the middle classes that was somewhat disturbing: in other words, my impression is that the "credulousness is what causes a comeuppance" theme is always woven by the clever higher classes at the expense of the undeserving ignorant, who more often than not happen to be less well bred.
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