The Philadelphia Story Essay

Philip Barry
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Ifeka is a Ph.D. specializing in American and British literature. In this essay, she analyzes Barry's treatment of class issues in The Philadelphia Story.

Barry's comedies are almost all set in the world of "high society" and feature characters who are rich, privileged, and educated. This does not mean, however, that he sets out to celebrate the upper-class; in fact, Barry subtly explores class conflict in many of his comedies, including The Philadelphia Story.

Barry is no radical, however, and while he presents his audiences with hints of the conflicts that underscored the myth of American egalitarian-ism, he never moves beyond this gentle thematization of class conflict. In fact, his endings usually reinforce rather than challenge the status quo.

The Lords, as their surname boldly asserts, are so firmly entrenched as leaders of Philadelphia society as to almost be American aristocrats. Pennsylvania, the home of so much...

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This section contains 1,643 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Philadelphia Story Study Guide
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The Philadelphia Story from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.