Rewards and Fairies
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Venduto e spedito da IBS
Francesca Bassington is a somewhat cold and self-contained society woman who values her home and possessions above all else, and she is intent on marrying her son off to some heiress in order to avoid having to move. “Francesca was one of those women towards whom Fate appears to have the best of intentions and never to carry them into practice.” Comus Bassington is a self-centered young man whose irresponsibilities may have been excusable and endearing when he was young but whose flippancy and fecklessness has now become a sore point between him and his mother, severely straining their relationship. Francesca maneuvers him into position to make any number of advantageous alliances, but his behavior always scuttles the matches until, in despair, she ships him off to Africa to seek his fortune.
Saki has an acute and satiric wit, perfectly capturing and skewering personalities and social customs. One finds oneself continually amused by events, people, and adventures, always with the awareness that things will turn out well at the end. Literary allusions creep in frequently, particularly satirizing authors for whom Munro has little respect. Two allusions to George Bernard Shaw appear: “Sherard Blaw, the dramatist who had discovered himself, and who had given so ungrudgingly of his discovery to the world;” and, “The whole of the Sherard Blaw school of discursive drama suggests, to my mind, Early Victorian furniture in a travelling circus.” There are also a few rather anti-Semitic remarks, not infrequent in the literature of Munro’s time.