Wind in the Willows

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sun Jul 13 05:38:23 EDT 2003


Jenne wrote in reply to Charlie answering Jenne....:

>> > 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.
>But it does matter. You seem to be arguing that the separation between the
>main characters and the Stoats and Weasels is primarily one of class,
>whereas I believe that the Stoats and Weasels are at best toughs and at
>worst, well, criminal gangs of the 19th-century sort.

(Or such as may be found today fighting it out with guns in eg Manchester?)

I also hold this belief; and it is clear that dislike and fear of them is
not confined to the "upper and middle classes", unless we assume that every
one of the Riversiders is of those classes.  The terrified rabbit in the
Wild Wood isn't signalled as such, nor are the ducks and the dabchicks, and
I am by no means sure the Otter is an upper-crust twit.  So it isn't about
"class"; it's about "type", and that's a rather different thing, isn't it?

Thugs and bullies and braggarts and other such plagues come from all walks
of life, after all; and who is to say which "class" the weasels belong to?
A higher one than the stoats, it would seem, given the way the stoats get
bossed about and left out in the cold doing sentry-duty whilst their
heirarchical superiors feast in the Hall.

Minnow


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