What is the author's purpose in "The Scharts-Metterklume Method"?

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In this funny short story by Saki, Lady Carlotta, is traveling to visit a friend in the English countryside.  Because she intervened when she saw someone mistreat a horse, she missed her train.  A very pretentious woman approaches her mistaking Lady Carlotta for a governess.  Lady Carlotta, who the reader has already seen is a woman not easily intimidated, decides to play along.  The snooty woman, Mrs. Quabarl, pompously tells Lady Carlotta, whom she thinks is Miss Hope, how she wants her children taught.  Lady Carlotta does not have the submissive demeanor typical of a governess and she shocks the Quabarls.  She makes up a phony teaching method, the Schartz-Metterklume Method, because both Quabarls are supercilious snobs and Lady Carlotta knows that if they think she is being innovative, they'll believe what she's saying. They finally fire Lady Carlotta the next day when they see their children acting out a history lesson in an outlandish way.  Of course, Lady Carlotta did this to prove her point.  The Quabarls were simply pretentious snobs.  The story is social satire meant to expose the aristocracy as empty-headed, gullible social climbers.

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