Wind in the Willows

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Sun Jul 6 17:27:44 EDT 2003


Jadwiga:

> I think the difference between getting into a poor neighborhood and a bad
> neighborhood is generally quite marked.

It certainly can be - though I've known quite a few that were both, I'm
afraid. I don't think I mentioned poverty, so much as a 'rough' or 'dodgy'
area, btw.

> When you compare Toad and the Stoats to grown-ups, I think that may be
> what is over-emphasizing the class distinctions. These are little boys in
> fur suits. Stoats and Weasels are bullies. Toad is loveable to his friends
> but quite clearly needs to reform-- but before he does, he gets to do a
> number of things that little boys would happily do. On the other hand,
> little boys do have a strong sense of property when they themselves are
> relieved of it, so the imprisonment makes less of an impact that the scold
> for loosing Ratty's boat.

I'd never thought of the WitW characters in this way, I'll admit.  The WitW
characters certainly seem to be adult (except those specifically described
as children, like young Portly), and even if they act in childish ways at
times that's something many adults do - not least I suspect when possession
of a private income relieves them of workaday reponsibilities. Are bullying
and self-indulgence and pomposity  particularly childish traits? Then again,
is it only adults who make class distinctions? Not in my experience, alas...

Charlie

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