As in many restoration comedy plays, class and elitism play a key role in the plot and development of the play, especially when it comes to the treatment of women. In Sir George Etherege's play, "The Man of Mode," the main characters portray a social system in which power is everything. All of the protagonists in the play are characterized as being idle rich, meaning that they come from old money and are able to maintain their fortune without working. .
Etherege uses humor, wit, and satire to criticize the foolishness of women in his play. The play takes place in a restoration society where women are seen as mere assets in an elitist society, thus preventing them from rising in it. In order to properly depict this theory, Etherege examines the mannerism and behavior of many women in the play, especially Mrs. Loveit, whom ruthlessly pursues the admiration of Dorimant, Bellinda, whom Dorimant easily manipulates, and Harriet, a women who is able to win the admiration of many through her wit and humor. By portraying these three women as mere objects to a man's desire, Etherege is able to show the audience the vast inequality between men and women of the restoration period when it comes to reputation, social status, and oppression. In the end, however, the attempts to defy the social restrictions bestowed upon them are futile. .
From the beginning of the play, after it is discovered that Dorimant is no longer interested in Mrs. Loveit, the reader is prompted to disrespect here reputation. Right away, it is obvious that Dorimant is the type of man, that, once he has sex and conquers a women, he brushes her aside and moves on to the next one. It is seen that Mrs. Loveit is one of Dorimant's trophies when he says, "Twill have the same fate I know that all my notes to her have had of late," (Act 1, scene 1, line 5). Mrs. Loveit is sent into a rage of jealousy when she finds that Dorimant has been fooling around with other women behind her back, leading her to call him a, "Faithless, inhumane, barbarous man.