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Consider in detail the final scene of "She stoops to conquer". How does it reconcile the comedy with the sentimental theme of redemption.

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Introduction

Consider in detail the final scene of "She stoops to conquer". How does it reconcile the comedy with the sentimental theme of redemption. While the word redemption has many definitions, its link to Christianity and the sacrifice of Christ for our salvation leads to the pertinent definition in the context of the question. The word does have an association with sin or evil having been done which is not applicable in the case of "She stoops to conquer", the characters cannot be accused of such serious actions, so in many ways it may be said that good nature of the characters is rewarded while those who 'repent' are forgiven and enjoy a 'happy end'. The final scene has many such 'redemptions', that of Marlow, Hastings, Tony and Constance Neville. Marlow shows the true depth of his character in the final scene and is granted redemption, while the good nature of Hastings (and to a certain extent Tony) and the patience of Miss Neville is rewarded also. Naturally the final scene will be analysed in detail but as it is the conclusion of previous events, it is necessary to look at the previous Acts, important as they are in achieving understanding of how the characters achieved their redemption or reward. As mentioned previously, in order to gain redemption it seems natural to assume that person has done wrong first. This is perhaps only really true of Marlow in "She stoops to conquer". ...read more.

Middle

knowledge of his coming of age in order to retain Miss Neville's fortune ""I find she turns it to a wrong use, I must now declare you have been of age these last thee months". Such actions really highlight his good nature, and it may be said that his good nature results in the sentimental theme of redemption manifesting in the final scene with what he describes to Sir Charles as "union of our families will make our personal friendship hereditary". George Hastings, like Hardcastle, is another character who is genuinely good natured throughout the play. He is friend and confidante to Marlow and is described as "as worthy a fellow as lives" by Sir Charles. He is the lover of Miss Neville, but is concerned with her character, not her fortune which Mrs Hardcastle covets. There are many examples of Hastings' lack of concern for her wealth, as he is more concerned with whisking her off to France with little thought of her money which they would lose. Hastings also stands out as a supportive character, both for Marlow (in the scene where he constantly gives support during the comedic conversation between Kate and Marlow), and for Miss Constance Neville. When she decides that she cannot leave without the money, choosing to think with her head rather than her heart- "In the moment of passion, fortune may be despised, but it ever produces a lasting repentance", Hastings stands by her and returns to the Hardcastle family home. ...read more.

Conclusion

By adopting the character of the barmaid she can see the character of Marlow without act or social class being a factor, though social class is clearly a factor to Marlow as his actions prove! Kate reveals herself to be quite shrewd and clever in her questioning of Marlow when in the guise of a poor relative in the final act- "I must remain contented with the slight approbation of imputed merit; I must have only the mockery of your addresses, while all your serious aims are fixed on fortune". When Marlow replies "By heavens madam, fortune was ever my smallest consideration" his true nature may be scene more clearly, by both the reader and Kate. It is the intelligence of Kate and her ability to see through Marlow's initially shy nature that results in her eventually marrying him. "She stoops to conquer" presents the theme of redemption and reward very well. Each character with the exception of Mrs Hardcastle ends the play having gained something from the mistakes of the night. Marlow is the character which achieves redemption as he is initially portrayed din a bad light yet through showing his true nature reveals more depth than we would of thought. Each of the other characters is rewarded for their good nature or good deed, Hastings, Hardcastle and Constance Neville all achieve what they hoped to and gained it through the nature of their characters whilst Tony showed his underlying good nature in his helping of Constance and Hastings. Kate achieved what she did through the intelligent manipulation of the situation. ...read more.

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