Class

As overseer of the estate and a propagator of upper class values, Lady Runcie-Campbell favours those who know their place. She thinks she is on a mission to maintain society on a civilized basis, where she lives according to her inherited position.

Interestingly, she often acts on behalf of her husband (I’m going to do what your father would do), which makes us question whether she has ever had her own independence within this gentrified existence.

She often speaks in a formal authoritative tone as she tries to emulate her husband: It will not do any good whatever to argue or plead with me. I have seen all I want of them. She likes Duror because he is more conservative and also believes in hierarchy.

Duror admires her beauty and accepts her superiority, while he sees the cone-gatherers as being inferior, indeed he thinks of them as being sub-human.

Neil, however, is a character who seeks to challenge the status quo. He rails against the inequality that is rife on the estate and believes in a better world.

He is greatly affected by the war and is perhaps aware of the change it might bring for class tradition.

The climax of his frustration is when he refuses to help Roderick in order to protect his brother from further humiliation, which ironically results in Calum’s death.

This clip explores issues of class, particularly focusing on an analysis of why Lady Runcie Campbell forces the cone gatherers to leave the beach hut.

Think about why Lady Campbell does this and consider the language Lady Runcie Campbell uses towards those belonging to other social classes, such as words like inferiors and quaint.

What does this suggest about her? Also consider the pressures that are placed on Roderick by his parents. Does this help us sympathise with him? Remember, his masculinity is questioned due to his belief in equality.