What are Saki's two philosophies of life, as depicted in "Reginald's Choir Treat"?

In the short story "Reginald's Choir Treat" by Saki, the character of Reginald has the philosophy of life that everything is humorous and the occasion for a joke or prank, while the character of Amabel has the philosophy that life should be taken seriously and should be lived for others and not for oneself.

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In the short story "Reginald's Choir Treat" by Saki (the pseudonym of writer H. H. Munroe), the author contrasts two characters with vastly different philosophies of life for comedic effect.

The character Reginald is introduced as a mischievous boy with a sense of humor. He is iconoclastic; he seems to delight in doing things different from the way others do them. For instance, when his family eats porridge, he eats toast, and when the vicar's daughter brings up the Bible story of the lilies of the field, Reginald contradicts everything she says. In short, Reginald is an intelligent, cunning, but shallow individual, and his philosophy of life is that every situation is an opportunity for humor.

On the other hand, the vicar's daughter Amabel is straight-laced, conservative, intellectual, and philanthropic. Her philosophy in life seems to be to live morally and virtuously and to assist those who are less fortunate. That's why she undertakes the "reformation" of Reginald by inviting him to...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 821 words.)

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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on May 13, 2020