While "Kew Gardens" is no "Pygmalion"
(which some of you might know as "My Fair Lady"), the story
does touch a bit on the rather strict class boundaries found in England in the
early 20th century.
The garden is a public environment in which numerous social
classes can intersect. There isn't a huge emphasis placed on class in the
story, but the social distinctions between certain characters are subtly
suggested, and these distinctions affect how the characters interact with each
other. What's more, the characters are often governed by notions of what is
socially acceptable behavior in this public setting.
Questions About Society and Class
How does class affect the working-class women's perceptions of the old man?
Does class factor into William's difficulty in handling his
What kinds of social expectations govern the characters'
What social rituals do the characters engage in?
Chew on This
Although the story takes place in a natural setting rather
than <em>in</em> the
city, societal expectations and class distinctions still govern the characters'
In his senility, the old man seems to completely neglect
notions of social propriety.