These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community.
We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own.
Written by Stanley Warhol
Irony of Love
The characters contend with the complexities of courtship due to the pressure of marrying up during the Regency era. The story has two love stories amid the four main characters, which also has a love triangle. Both Caroline and Shirley are infatuated by Robert but he gravitates more towards Shirley because of her wealth. Ironically, Caroline is deeply in love with Robert though her affection is unrequited which affects her intensely. Meanwhile, the romance between the two people she cares about seems to have a potential for marriage.
Irony of Progress
The industrial revolution is taking place as factories and mills are mechanizing to adapt with the times. However, the manual laborers are not pleased by the paradigm shift and decide to destroy the new machines. It is ironic that technological progress fosters contention rather than harmony as it aims to ease the way of life. Luddites choose to protest the change instead of learning new skills to adapt to the industrial revolution.
Irony of Singlehood
The narrative delves into the inconveniences and plights women suffered in having to choose a partner that better suits their situation. Caroline represents a woman who has to marry up since she has no wealth and hence has to find a rich partner before she leaves home. Besides, as a lady, she is not allowed to work for a living especially if she is single. Thus, the narrative explores the practice of marrying for money or prestige rather than for love. Shirley is lucky in the sense she has inherited a fortune henceforth has the autonomy to marry for love.
The irony of social strata
The author explores the power social hierarchy has over the characters' choices in terms of marriage and acquaintances. However, the characters defy these societal expectations by engaging outside their social strata. Caroline and Shirley have an instant connection even though their backgrounds are completely different. Furthermore, Shirley marries a man from a lower class which is unconventional for a woman hailing from a wealthy background.
Update this section!
You can help us out by revising, improving and updating