by Mary Norton
The Borrowers Theme of Society and Class
We're all familiar with the typical factors that determine class—money, education, background, yadda yadda yadda. But what about whether you live over the mantle, behind the harpsichord, or under a clock? In The Borrowers, where your family lives matters more than just about anything else when it comes to figuring out where you fall on the social hierarchy. But as some of our characters soon realize, your class doesn't really say much of anything at all about who you truly are.
Questions About Society and Class
- Who do you think is the most class-obsessed character (or family) in the novel? Why do you think so? How does that make you think of them?
- Do you think Homily envies Aunt Lupy? Or does she look down upon her? Or both?
- How does Homily's thirst for household things compared to Arrietty's thirst for exploration and freedom? Is one more valuable than the other?
Chew on This
The class system the borrowers use is yet another example of their prejudice.
Homily is herself stuck-up, and is "house-proud." So she should probably stop complaining about everyone else being snobby.