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Explain the following quotation in She Stoops to Conquer? Miss Hard: Yes. But upon...

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rozh | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted March 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM via web

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Explain the following quotation in She Stoops to Conquer?

Miss Hard: Yes. But upon conditions. For if you should find him less impudent, and I more presuming; if you find him more respectful, and I more importunate-I don't know- the fellow is well enough for a man- Certainly we don't meet many such at a horse race in the country.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 25, 2013 at 5:05 PM (Answer #1)

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This scene, found in Act III, Kate and her father have already met Marlow and, judging from his extreme shift in behaviors, Mr. Hardcastle agrees with Kate in that Marlow is to be rejected as a suitor.

However, Kate is as dynamic and charismatic a character as Marlow. For this reason, she entertains keeping Marlow as a suitor as long as he behaves in less extreme ways while still showing his true personality. That her father would find him "less impudent" means that Kate wishes for Marlow to be less offensive and brash. Remember that he was really rude when he mistakenly confused the Hardcastle home and its inhabitants with the local inn and its servants.

When Kate says that she wants him to be "more presuming", meaning that he leaves aside the extreme shyness that he feels in the presence of women such as Kate. Remember how he treats Kate when he meets her for the first time; he hardly even makes eye to eye contact. In showing himself a bit more presuming, he would actually show a litte more self assurance.

In the same manner, Kate wishes that she and her dad get to see the opposite of what each of them saw in Marlow upon first meeting him. In this case she says that if her father were to see Marlow acting much more respectful than he did the first time, and if Kate would see a more "importunate" towards her, then his behavior would definitely even out in their eyes. By "more importunate" Kate means that she wishes that Marlow were more insistent in wanting Kate.

Therefore, the dialogue between Kate and Hardcastle brings out the different personalities that Marlow expressed toward them in different situations. Hence, if they are able to witness Marlow acting in the opposite way than the way that they met him, then Kate would think of him as a more "normal" kind of guy and she would consider him.

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