• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'How To Get On In Society' by John Betjeman

Extracts from this document...


'How To Get On In Society' by John Betjeman Phone for the fish knives, Norman As cook is a little unnerved; You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes And I must have things daintily served. Are the requisites all in the toilet? The frills round the cutlets can wait Till the girl has replenished the cruets And switched on the logs in the grate. It's ever so close in the lounge, dear, But the vestibule's comfy for tea And Howard is riding on horseback So do come and take some with me Now here is a fork for your pastries And do use the couch for your feet; I know that I wanted to ask you - Is trifle sufficient for sweet? Milk and then just as it comes dear? I'm afraid the preserve's full of stones; Beg pardon, I'm soiling the doilies With afternoon tea-cakes and scones. Before I proceed any further I believe that this work could not be continued without the actual definition of a society: So�ci�e�ty n. -ties 1 a wide, non-specific group of people who share some of the same background and culture: American society 2 the lives and activities of rich, fashionable people: When she was 16, she entered society and met her future husband. 3 a club or organisation: a musical society 4 company: We like the society of our friends when we play golf. However although this is the actual definition of a society, it is simply not a group of people with similar upbringings. ...read more.


Betjeman was very interested in the study of the Noblesse Oblige, first conducted by A.C.Ross. This is seen throughout his later works such as 'False Security', where he in the final line says: "I WONDER WHERE JULIA FOUND THAT STRANGE, RATHER COMMON LITTLE BOY?" This apart from being a prejudice and snobby statement, where the boy is deemed just to be common, and so strange to the Upper Classes, as he is not distinguished, is a direct statement to Betjeman and his upbringing, as he was from a NON-U family, and so if seen by his family to be he would have been treated the same as the boy, as an outcast. In fact one can assume that Betjeman may be talking about his current predicament, where he is shown to be the outcast in his family, as his father-in-law never accepts him into his Upper Class sorority. His fascination with class is also seen in the poem 'Thoughts on 'The Diary of a Nobody', where in the final stanza once more he states how we should strive for an Upper Class lifestyle, or at least that being the general wishes of the public. Betjeman seems to postpone his poems, creating a sort of anti-climax, until the final stanza where he draws the pieces of the poetical puzzle together to provide the hidden or underlying meaning, and this is non-different as the final quatrain is most telling and dramatic, as he uses a sort of ambiguity for doilies, so to promote a sound that connotes the company for the party to be of a lower class, or stupid to continue this outrageous charade. ...read more.


The use of sweet instead of dessert and the serving of trifle, a manufacture good are all non- U ideas. The notion of traditional England, put forth by afternoon-tea is shown, but the use of paper doilies, preserves, and not jam, is an atypical Non-U mistake. It is all rather like a fashion parade, of separate styles. Betjeman only uses one metaphor ("...soiling the doilies"), along with only a small piece of alliteration ("...sufficient for sweet"), and one piece of assonance ("...soiling the doilies"). However through these pieces of grammar and interior rhyme is picked up on, where a joyful and playful mood is detected. So we can see the evidence of the mocking of the middle class, yet also under the humorous exterior an attack is progressing on the defining Social Class; the peak of the hierarchy; the Upper Class. He is showing their arrogant ways and beliefs, that they are of a higher entity and so should control the masses is not directly, then through their valuation of self and mind, and so through society. Betjeman is using the society issue as a tool, to get to the foremost of his hatred of self-evils. In this poem he portrays much of his own self-demeanours, and so is repenting against himself. He is revising his own choices of life, or lie, and exposing not only the humiliated bourgeoisie but also the anguished governors of the collapsed feudalist system. And so an aphorism is shown in this satire and rhetoric poem, where, to 'Get On In Society', one needs to become 'Normal and Common'. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ken David Burton Stronach Yr.12.A.s. English Literature: Practical Criticism ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Pygmalion - What does the play show us of the society of ...

    This remark from Eliza demonstrates that even the poor, who are uneducated, can have better manners than those who are rich and have received some form of education. Higgins swears a lot, is rude and treats people with disrespect and also has poor hygiene, he wipes his face on his dressing-gown and places dirty cutlery on the clean tablecloth.

  2. Pakistani Women In a Changing Society.

    female government employees, women teachers and girls at schools and colleges to wear 'Islamic' dress and the chaddar or burqa. As a direct result of such campaigns against women who are depicted as a threat to male virtue, the morality of Pakistani males sunk to new depths.

  1. 'The Simple Bard, unbroke by rules or Art'. (Burns epigraph to the Kilmarnockedition). How ...

    This technique is aligned with implicit references to ignorance of the educated social world, testifying again that Burns is not 'a Rhymer like by chance' (p. 134). The muse has broader significance to Burns other than just a distinction between inspiration and education, it also represents the simple wishes of 'The social, friendly, honest man' (p.

  2. Microcosm of the society is shown through the use of language in Pride and ...

    In addition to that, the portrayal of these characters also shows the gender in equality that happened at that period. They are denied their right for the family fortune, for instance what happened to Bennets and the Lucasses daughters. 'To walk three miles.

  1. Sexism is a form of prejudice.

    when he is soba she is nothing but a skivvy to him. The Caf� is a sexist place. The people who work there are all women, no men. It's a man that owns it; he would rather see women slaving over the cooker.

  2. Both John Steinbeck's 'The Grapes of Wrath' and Edith Wharton's 'The Age of Innocence' ...

    as initially Archer is all that a young man should be too. But in Chapter 23, Archer sees that May 'had spent her poetry and romance on their short courting; the function was exhausted because the need was past. Now she was simply ripening into a copy of her mother,

  1. Ocean Ridge Golf and Country Club - target marketing

    The target market for Ocean Ridge members is determined by the following factors: The demographics of a possible member are: Target age being thirty five years old all the way up to 60 years old, social class being classes A to B1, with a status of married preferably with children.

  2. Moral Panic.

    and why we as a society had allowed it happen, it suggested the increase of public indifference, lowering family values and increasing isolation, generating massive public guilt and predicting a breakdown in the cohesive fabric of society itself. Fuelled by the press reports, people searched for reasons why this might have happened.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work