The Way of the World

The Way of the World


William Congreve

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The Way of the World: Act 3, Scene 17 Summary & Analysis

Mincing enters, and tells Wishfort that dinner is “impatient.” Wilfull overhears her and asks if dinner can wait until he pulls off his boots and puts on a pair of slippers. Wishfort chides him for trying to take off his boots in front of company and tells him to do it in the hall and that they will wait for him. She apologizes to everyone for his behavior and encourages her guests to join her at the table.
Sir Wilfull retains his country mannerisms, which fuel Petulant and Witwoud’s feelings of superiority and embarrass Wishfort. Wilfull doesn’t mean to be offensive, he just doesn’t know any better because he hasn’t been trained in how to behave like a gentleman. Yet his non-fashionable sincerity still comes off to the audience as superior to the fashionable but foolish antics of Witwoud and Petulant.
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