Way of the World / Edition 2by William Congreve
Pub. Date: 12/20/2002
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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Author William Congreve manages to capture the plight and candor of the upper class during 17th century England. While there is no real-depth to the characters portrayed in the play, Congreve manages to keep the play comical enough to warrent the attention of the reader. This is play is truely a comedy of manners, as Congreve utilizes subtle Old English dialect to poke fun at the upper-class structure he is writing about. While the quips may not be easily discernable, they are there and as long as the reader does not get bogged down with the language barrier, they are in for an enjoyable read. The plot centers around money and marriage, with Lady Wishfort wishing to be courted by Sir Rowland. While some wish to be courted, others do not, as is the case with Mrs. Millament, who wished not to be married for fear of losing her freedom as a woman. I enjoyed the book, although I have read better, but it is still worth the time and effort to consume. I enjoyed how Congreve subtly hinted at various aspects of life throughout the play (for instance his referral to how marriage was essentially the end of the relationship, or the fire that is present in the relationship). Again, at times the language is a bit hard to discern, and to some the play may seem dry and boring. If you are a fan, however, of British Literature and a fan of a comedy with a twist, then this book will suit you very nicely.