The Stationmaster Themes

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Much of the conflict in "The Stationmaster" involves the inequality between social classes. The prologue alludes to the Table of Ranks that established an order of social ranking among all government workers. The stationmaster is in the fourteenth class, the lowest rank in the Table. The narrator tells us that he would rather talk with a stationmaster "than with some official of the sixth class traveling on government business."

He tells the reader of his frustration that a stationmaster would give away to a higher-ranking official horses that had been prepared for him. The narrator asks, "what would become of us if the rule convenient to all, 'Let rank yield to rank,' were to be replaced by some other, such as 'Let mind yield to mind'? What arguments would arise?" While the narrator dismisses his question in favor of practicality, the reader is left to ask...

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This section contains 657 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Stationmaster from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.