The Ruling Class Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does the conversation between the Earl and Tucker reveal about the Earl's situation?

The Earl and Tucker's conversation reveals that the Earl's father took the room's ornate bed all over the world with him. The Earl's older brothers have all been killed, leaving him with the title. The Earl says he plans to produce an heir by marrying someone named Grace Shelley. There are indications that Jack, the Earl's son, is an unsuitable heir.

2. How does Tucker help the Earl prepare?

As the Earl talks about the tedium of duty, Tucker hangs a noose of silk rope from the ceiling and sets up a set of portable steps. After bringing the Earl orders his usual whiskey and soda, Tucker exits the scene.

3. How does the Earl kill himself?

Earl dresses in a ballet dancer's skirt, a three-cornered hat and a ceremonial sword. He climbs the steps and then places his head in the noose. He talks about a woman whose love he remembers and comments on how worms are eating their way through her body. He calls her to him and then walks off the steps.

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