While reading the story “Gentlemen and Players,” I noticed a few different things that stuck out to me as being a part of British society: cricket and gentlemen.
The story really focuses a lot on the sport of cricket, and the whole time they were talking about it in the story, I was picturing croquet. I don’t know why I was getting the two confused because they are two very different things.
This is cricket.
This is croquet.
Two very different things. No wonder I was so confused when reading the short description of the game in the story. I had it all wrong in my head, but once I sorted things out, it all made much more sense. Now I understand why it is referred to in the text as “poor man’s baseball.” After reading that, I realized my idea of cricket was off. Cricket actually originated in England in the 16th century. I assume it to be the equivalent of baseball in America even though it may not be as popular as baseball is here in the U.S. For the sake of this blog, we’ll assume it is.
Another thing I noticed about British culture in the story is the reputation of gentlemen. Raffles is considered to be a gentleman, but he is also a thief. It would be easier to understand his actions if he was some ruffian on the street looking for a quick way to make money, but Raffles is an upstanding gentleman in English society who chooses to be a thief. I don’t quite understand it. I think he could find a better way to make money, marry rich even! Just anything but stealing, Raffles! Geez!
Sidenote: Do gentlemen still exist in our world today? I feel like it’s a strictly Victorian era type thing.