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Much of Jerome’s satire targets pretension, especially the pretensions of the middle and upper classes. His treatment of pretension is similar to his treatment of hypocrisy, and the two themes are themselves closely related. Pretension has more to do with how people present themselves to the world. One of the most scathing sequences in the novel comes when Jerome skewers the pretensions of J. and his friends, who discuss philosophy and pretend to speak German in an effort to be ‘high-class.’ In this passage, Jerome is not mocking the activities, but rather the fact that they are pursuing them not out of genuine interest, but rather in hopes of bolstering their reputations among their friends. Overall, Jerome presents a world of people who develop illusions about themselves that are easily punctured if they are closely examined.