“the Sophistication of the Town Is Quite Undone by the Honesty of the Country.” to What Extent Do You Agree with This Reading of She Stoops to Conquer?

“The sophistication of the town is quite undone by the honesty of the country.” To what extent do you agree with this reading of She Stoops to Conquer?

“Ay, and bring back vanity and affectation to last them the whole year. I wonder why London cannot keep its own fools at home!”

Thus Mr. Hardcastle brandishes his view of the town’s ‘follies’ as not only markedly inferior in character to the country, but of typical social values associated with arrogance and dishonesty. And yet his counterpart portrays the principles of townsfolk in a far more flattering light – one that desires a new lease of life given the mundane nature of their country setting. In other words, Goldsmith’s characters establish the primary conflict between town and country somewhat swiftly, and his audience now must decide whom they ought to side with. While the townsfolk are shown to portray characteristics of respectable, sophisticated manner (through fashion and educated language), which both an 18th century and present day audience could recognize to some degree, the country, by means of characters such as Mr. Hardcastle and Tony Lumpkin, are bracketed alongside a simple, modest yet light-hearted outlook. The appreciation of relative moralities, and their powers of exploitation, would lend some to believe that the country’s honesty is more capable of exposing the portrayal of sophistication. But one could likewise assert that the opposite is true, or even that the sophistication is wielded to subjugate the country characters. However, this is all based on interpretation of the social factions: it is true that neither society entirely fits the mould of honesty or sophistication, and that comedy is orchestrated in ways other than the deception of the town in favour of the country.
However, the play opens with emphasis on derision directed at the town.   The establishment of the two societies, done almost exclusively through the eyes of the country, achieves this effect; hence we gain a...