I'm re-reading East of Eden and this stuck out, perhaps because I've also watched the entire Jeeves & Wooster series and read 800 pages of Wodehouse in the past two months. From Lee:
Also here's what Jeeves said in the TV episode "Comrade Bingo," don't know if it's original to the books, after pretending to be Bertie's friend rather than servant and demonstrating his knowledge of Marxism to a bunch of communists: "It is as well to know exactly what tunes the devil is playing, sir.""I don't know where being a servant came into disrepute. It is the refuge of a philosopher, the food of the lazy, and, properly carried out, it is a position of power, even of love. I can't understand why more intelligent people don't take it as a career - learn to do it well and reap its benefits. A good servant has absolute security, not because of his master's kindness, but because of habit and indolence. It's a hard thing for a man to change spices or lay out his own socks. He'll keep a bad servant rather than change. But a good servant, and I am an excellent one, can completely control his master, tell him what to think, how to act, whom to marry, when to divorce, reduce him to terror as a discipline, or distribute happiness to him, and finally be mentioned in his will. If I had wished I could have robbed, stripped, and beaten anyone I've worked for and come away with thanks. Finally, in my circumstances I am unprotected. My master will defend me, protect me. You have to work and worry. I work less and worry less. And I am a good servant. A bad one does no work and does no worrying, and he still is fed, clothed, and protected. I don't know any profession where the field is so cluttered with incompetents and where excellence is so rare."
On the one hand, these guys are sneaky devils and SJs as a whole must be more dangerous than they let on.
On the other hand, eliminate the servant-secretly-being-the-master element, and anyone who is content to be a cook or a housekeeper is a lucky person. You might spend a lot of time physically occupied, but your thoughts are completely free. This is crazy coming from someone who keeps their own house as badly as I do, but it doesn't sound like a bad life.
What do you think?