Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School


First Advisor

Nicole Flynn


This work will examine P. G. Wodehouse’s representations of relationships and power structure in My Man Jeeves, A Damsel in Distress, and Piccadilly Jim, which Wodehouse wrote during WWI. In each work, Wodehouse presents complicated relationships and causes readers to question the existing power structures. I will focus on the complex relationship between employers and employees as well as his representation of male and female guardians and their relationship to each other and their dependents. I will examine how Wodehouse uses the figure of the incompetent aristocrat and the clever valet or butler in order to question the assumption that the aristocracy should have more power than the serving class. I will then examine how he presents the older generation of women as inflexible and conforming to tradition, while he presents the men as submissive and less likely to act. Through his representations of characters, Wodehouse shows hints at anxieties his readers would have had and hints at the flaws in the power structures of British society.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wodehouse, P. G. (Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975.
My man Jeeves Wodehouse, P. G. (Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975.
Damsel in distress Wodehouse, P. G. (Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975.
Power (Social sciences) in literature Interpersonal relations in literature English literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism


Includes bibliographical references (pages 106-109)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted