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Decline and Fall Social Concerns

This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Decline and Fall.
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Social Concerns

The social preoccupations of Decline and Fall are accurately indicated by its title. The novel portrays an England whose established social institutions have lost both their integrity and their authority: The church has lost its faith, the aristocracy has descended to the level of the masses and the educational system teaches nothing worth learning.

The social rot is so far advanced, in fact, that even standards of common courtesy have declined to the extent that rudeness has replaced politeness as the mark of the successful person.

The humorous aspects of this situation are, however, never far from Waugh's mind, and thus he has a great deal of fun arguing that the criminal classes are the only ones to have maintained their traditional values in this rapidly changing milieu. Elsewhere, the absurd behavior of those characters who are supposed to be pillars of society is generally seen as ignorant...

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This section contains 220 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Decline and Fall Study Guide
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Decline and Fall from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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