Slides in this set
Sir John takes quite a small role in the play, yet gives us a great insight into how
Lady Caroline treats other, particularly at the beginning of the play.
"I assure you" suggests he wants to stop the argument there. This is also shown
through him not taking the argument any further and doing as Caroline says.
"Kelvil, my love, Kelvil" could be Sir John's way of correcting Lady Caroline,
without it coming across in a demanding tone. This could be Sir John again trying
to deflect confrontation.…read more
This is the first phrase of the play, spoken by Lady Caroline. This could show that she feels
superior as she's taking charge of the conversation.
It suggests that she already has her opinion and nothing will change it it's a leading
question, possibly meaning that Lady Caroline doesn't believe Hester's opinion to be
The Victorian time was one where class was definite; there was very little mixing between
the classes. Therefore, if Lady Caroline believes she is of higher status than Hester, she is
likely to show this through her language choices. "I believe" is a phrase asserting authority
Lady Caroline believes she has, over Hester.…read more
"WHAT WE SHOULD..."
The use of "we" excludes Hester from the conversation Lady Caroline is trying
to isolate Hester, so she can dominate conversation and feel superior.
"I believe I am usually right", "Are you in favour of women taking part in
politics...?" She believes her opinions are always right and people should listen
to her. Links in with her superior view of herself.…read more
"I believe..." and "We should" are both similar because it's Lady Caroline
asserting her status over "inferior" people. In this instance, that "inferior" person
is Hester, who the conversation is taking place with.
"Foreigners like yourself" is another example of Lady Caroline trying to ostracise
someone who she feels threatens her stature. "Yourself" directs the conversation
straight at Hester, again trying to alienate her from the rest of the group.…read more
"JOHN, YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR
Lady Caroline takes on a role that she perhaps shouldn't, as she takes the place of her husband
in conversation by displaying strong views and opinions. This is quite unordinary, as Victorian
women were said to be quite conserved and mild mannered.
This "bossy" nature could be Lady Caroline showing who controls the relationship. "Kelvil, my
love, Kelvil" Sir John corrects Caroline 4 times, by telling her "Mr Kettle" is actually called
"Mr Kelvil". This shows how little she values her husbands opinion, how she has grown to
ignore what he says.
"You must allow me to be the best judge of that, John. Pray do as I tell you" Lady Caroline
doesn't just take control of the conversation, she expects Sir John to always convey with her
point of view. The "Pray" makes this expression seem important and the right thing to do.
The control over Sir John may be because Lady Caroline feels threatened by younger and
prettier women, so continues put down other women in the company of others. For example,
she suggests Mrs Allonby is "hardly a very suitable person" and says Hester is "far too pretty".
The governess is also disapproved of, "she was far too good looking to be in any respectable