What was considerd man vs.society in "The Alchemist"?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Alchemist" revolves around deception and an understanding that in this society there were the very rich, and the very poor. 

"For most purposes, there were two classes: the aristocratic land-owners and those who worked for them."  

In a very real way the conflict is rich vs. poor. An example of man vs. society would be the three con artists who set up shop in Jeremy's Master's abandoned house.

The three con artists make a living by fleecing and tricking people out of their money.  But those who seek their advice, are not really victims, they come looking for reassurance that in reality, no one can give.  They too, are in a struggle with the conventional methods of society.

Everyone in this play if looking for a quick way to get rich, so the comedy is ripe with satire and farce.  Especially when you consider the characters of the Puritans who decide that counterfeiting is an acceptable way to get money for their church.    

The whole play is based on a conflict that man has with the rules that govern society. The poor had little choice and no opportunities to rise out of their situations.   

Even the alchemist is attempting to turn base metals into a gold, a practice that we know is not possible, but was still considered credible in the 17th century.