In this part of the study guide, we will give you some points which will help you engage in a general discussion of the story “The Model Millionaire” by Oscar Wilde, put the text into perspective and answer questions from Gateways.
Reflect on charms and good-looks. Both in Victorian England and nowadays, they seem to play an important role. The story shows that Hughie managed to make friends and be accepted in society thanks to his charm and physical appearance, even if he had no means to support himself. Nowadays, charm and good-looks can even bring one wealth and contribute to achieving certain jobs. Just think of fashion models, actors, and celebrities. This is probably because humans have a natural inclination for appreciating beauty which has been exploited by certain industries. Do you think industries that rely on good-looks and charm are superficial? Is charm always an indication of one’s good character, as in the case of Hughie?
Reflect on Laura’s position in the story and the context of Victorian England. As a woman, she was supposed to marry well in order to secure her livelihood. She most likely could not even inherit money from her father as fortunes u...