Mrs. Dalloway, The Minor Characters, Hugh Whitbread And Miss Kilman

1275 Words Oct 8th, 2015 6 Pages
In Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf crafts the minor characters, Hugh Whitbread and Miss Kilman, to symbolize the stereotypes of the different social classes. Hugh Whitbread functions as the embodiment of British aristocratic traditions and ideals while Miss Kilman embodies the lower class. Woolf characterizes Whitbread as a pompous man who is always well dressed, and characters such as Sally Seton observes that Hugh “represented all that was most detestable in British middle-class life...He was a perfect specimen of the public school type, she said. No country but England could have produced him...Hugh was the greatest snob—the most obsequious” (73). Woolf utilizes Whitbread as a figure for the upper class’ worst characteristics by being hypocritical, vain, and snobbish, but Woolf also highlights the negative qualities of the lower class through Miss Kilman. In a reflection about Miss Kilman, Clarissa notes how “insensitive was she, dressed in a green mackintosh coat...making you feel her superiority, your inferiority; how poor she was; how rich you were” (14). Woolf writes Miss Kilman as the representative of the poor’s hatred for the upper class because she resents and envies their freedom from struggles and hardships.
Steinbeck similarly examines the poor’s resentment of the upper class through the interactions between the migrant farmers and the upper class. Steinbeck captures the ire of the migrants at the wastefulness and selfishness of the upper class by showing that “in the…

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