This chapter explains the figure of the servant in literature. The focus here is on the eighteenth century, via a close reading of Miss Sara Sampson. Paying close attention to Goethe's long list of servants (and especially to his valet Carl Stadelmann), the chapter examines the articulation of power relations between master and subject and, further, the topos of the world upside down, which threatens to turn those power structures on their head. The chapter concludes with a discussion of mimetic desire. Using examples from Goethe and Proust, it shows not merely how servants mimic the behavior of their masters but also how the actions subalterns imitate come to affect, in turn, the models set by their superiors.
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