Themes

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 205

The Man of Feeling by Henry Mackenzie has two prominent themes. The first one is the duality of good and evil, selflessness and greed, and honesty and trickery. The titular character, Harley, is a "man of feeling." In other words, he is a person with compassion for his fellow human...

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The Man of Feeling by Henry Mackenzie has two prominent themes. The first one is the duality of good and evil, selflessness and greed, and honesty and trickery. The titular character, Harley, is a "man of feeling." In other words, he is a person with compassion for his fellow human beings. He is the representative of the good parts of the duality. Some of the people he encounters in London represent greed and selfishness. Harley is a man of virtue and doesn't complain or become cynical when people either trick him, or bad luck in life causes a series of misfortunes. Although his spirit is battered by the misfortunes, Harley continues to exhibit good moral judgment and kindness.

The other theme is that love is rewarded to the righteous. Harley is in love with Miss Walton, a wealthy heiress who admires Harley's good virtues. However, her father arranges her to marry a wealthy man who she does not love. Before Harley dies, he confesses his love for Miss Walton and she returns the sentiment. Despite the misfortunes during his life, Harley finally became a victor before he died. Harley received back the love that he had given to so many people throughout his short life.

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Critical Essays