Themes and message


Class differences

An important theme in the short story “Baglady” by A.S. Byatt is differences of class and social status. While Lord and Lady Scroop and the other directors and their wives appear to be upper class, Daphne-Gulver Robinson and her husband, Rollo, were not born as upper class, although they tried to ascend in the world of aristocracy. This is implied in the story by Rollo being older but not having as much power as the other directors, as well as by Daphne’s failed efforts to look as attractive and stylish as the other wives. 

Daphne is aware that she cannot pass for upper class, and resists coming along on the trip at the beginning: “ ‘You don’t want me on this trip (...) I’d better stay and mind the donkeys and the geese and the fantails as usual’ ”. However, once she is there, she does her best to fit in by going along with whatever the other wives decide to do, including the shopping t...

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