Julian Fellowes’ work focuses on the struggles of the upper class and the struggles of the people excluded from the upper class. Fellowes’ work comments that it is not class that defines us, but rather, our willingness to change ourselves to please others. Because of the idea that the upper class is so mysterious and desirable to those excluded from it, many different characters strive to climb the social ladder. These characters have a false depiction of what life in the upper class consists of. For example, the main character of Snobs, Edith, thinks her life will be much better with the fame and title that comes along with marrying Charles Braughton. Edith, who is a member of the middle class, confuses life in the upper class with the key to happiness. She marries into the upper class for the wrong reasons and ends up being bored and unhappy in that lifestyle. Unsure of herself and who she wants to become, Edith ends up having an affair before returning to an unhappy marriage with Charles, because of the pressures of society.
Like Edith’s struggle to find herself and become her own person, Scotland has been struggling with independence from England since William Wallace led the first independence movement in the 13th century. Wallace was one of the most iconic and influential independence leaders Scotland has ever had. However, Scottish independence movements really gained momentum in 1934 with the formation of the Scottish National Party. More recently, the Scottish National Party put the independence question into the hands of Scottish citizens in a 2014 referendum. The SNP’s past leader, Alex Salmond, negotiated with the British government for the referendum. While it was a close vote, Scottish citizens ultimately decided to stay within the UK. Even though the referendum failed, 2014 was a landmark moment for Scottish independence movements. Nicola Sturgeon, the new leader of the SNP and Prime Minister of Scotland, has proposed another referendum for the future. In honor of men like William Wallace and past battles for Scottish independence, the people of Scotland will continue fighting for their independence.
Major Works Consulted:
Broughton, David. “Scottish National Party (SNP).” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Last Modified May 6, 2016. Accessed January 25, 2017.
Andreeva, Nellie. ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes In Deal WIth NBC for 1880s New York Drama. Deadline, 27 November 2012.
Fellowes, Julian. Past Imperfect. New York: St. Martin's, 2009.
---. Snobs. New York: St. Martin's, 2005.
Morton, Graeme. Ourselves and Others: Scotland 1832-1914. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press, 2012.