The Ruling Class Themes

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Greed is evident in all of Barnes's characters save the insane Jack. In the first half of the play, he represents the opposite of greed: Christian charity and "the unity of universal love." Alas, this unrealistic solution to life's challenges defines him as clinically insane. The so-called sane members of the Gurney family, who vie for control over Jack's ownership of the estate, are all driven by greed. Sir Charles hopes to commit his nephew so that he can manage the estate— and reap its power and riches— himself, Claire compromises her integrity by staying with Sir Charles even though they both have other lovers, and the Bishop seems more concerned about the late Earl's promise of "the Overseas Bishoprics Fund" than about guiding the family spiritually.

When Sir Charles hears the reading of the will, which transfers the Gurney estate to Jack, he complains that his brother...

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This section contains 741 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Ruling Class from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.