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{. “The Dear Departed” was the first of many to be reproduced at the gaiety theatre. It is a pungent satire on the moral degradation of British middle-class.

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Presentation on theme: "{. “The Dear Departed” was the first of many to be reproduced at the gaiety theatre. It is a pungent satire on the moral degradation of British middle-class."— Presentation transcript:

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2 “The Dear Departed” was the first of many to be reproduced at the gaiety theatre. It is a pungent satire on the moral degradation of British middle-class society. The two sister, Mrs. Slater and Mrs. Jordan, are so mean and materialistic that instead Of mourning over their father’s death, they planned to divide his belongings. When the old man says that He will, ’leaving all his bit of thing to whomsoever, he living with when he dies’, they at once change their attitude and offer to have their father with them.

3 (William) Stanley Houghton (22 February 1881–10 December 1913) was an English Playwright. His plays are set locally in Northern England, but represent universal aspects of human nature. During the summer of the year 1912, he developed Viral pneumonia in Venice and moved back to Manchester where he died in December from meningitis. He was unmarried.

4 1)Abel Merryweather 2)Mrs. Amelia Slater 3)Henry Slater 4)Elizabeth 5)Ben Jordan

5 He is an old widower. Since the death of his wife, he has been living, by turns, with his daughters Amelia Slater and Elizabeth Jordan. He is fun-loving, jovial man who likes to go to the pub and have a drink. He is quick-witted and too intelligent to be fooled by any show of affection by his daughters. He knows them too well. But still, because they are his daughters he was planning to leave them something in his will. However, when he discovers however they behaved, believing him to be dead. He decides to change his will, leave everything to the person he is living with at d time of death, and also decides to marry a widow, Mrs. Shorrocks, the keeper of "Ring-o-Bells". He is a likeable old man, much better than his daughters.

6 Mrs. Slater or rather Amelia is a very Vigorous plump, vulgar, selfish and a greedy type of lady.. She is ready to do anything to do her work and she also has no feelings for her father, rather she only has concern about the belongings This shows that Amelia is a very disgusting lady. She is ever ready with a lie.

7 Henry Slater, the husband of Amelia,is a stooping, heavy man with a drooping moustache. He is not mean like his wife but he has no strength to contradict what his wife says. When Amelia asks him to put on the slipper of grandfather, he reluctant to do it. He is a selfish and cunning, but not to the extent his wife is.

8 In the play, the "dear departed", Victoria is envious, opportunist as well as very mean. She always were in search of chances to grab their parents valuables. Rather than being sad at heart to their so called dead father, they were and chances to grab all the valuables and belongings. This shows that both of the woman were not at all affectionate towards each other nor did they follow their filial obligation towards their parents and considered him as a burden.

9 Ben Jordan is the husband of Elizabeth. He is a jolly little man accustomed to be humorous. He has bright Chirpy little voice. Chirpily he remarks, ‘We have all got to die sometime or other’. Even on a grave occasion, He humorously remark about the grandfather,”If there was one thing he couldn’t bear,it was water.”Internally he is very timid.


11 Play opens with Mrs.. Slater (Amelia) (daughter of Abel Merryweather & wife of Henry Slater) Mrs. Slater is preparing to receive her sister Mrs. Elizabeth Jordan with her husband Mr. Ben Jordan Reason--- The Jordans are visiting the Slaters to “talk over” the father’s affairs as the Slaters have informed them about the death of the old man. Though the ‘death’ has been discovered a few hours ago, Mrs. Slater hardly seems grief-stricken. She instructs her 10 year old daughter Victoria to change into a white frock with a black sash (cloth belt) Reason—if her aunt (Mrs. Jordan) were to discover her in a colourful dress soon after her grandfather’s death, she would get sarcastic and taunting. Mrs. Slater grabs Grandpa’s new pair of carpet slippers asks her husband to wear them( despite them being of a smaller size) She also hastily shifts his new Bureau to her room and substitutes it with an old, discarded and shabby chest of drawers. She makes sure all this is done hurriedly, with main door locked so that her sister (Mrs. Jordan) doesn’t arrive and see. She also warns her daughter Victoria not to open the door even if the Jordans arrive till the shifting is complete

12 Henry Slater feebly attempts to stop her as all this does not appear ‘delicate’ to him (After-all grandfather had just died!) Victoria also dislike s this ‘pinching’ (Stealing) but Mrs. Slater is hardly bothered. Mrs. Slater has just one thing on her mind---that that particular piece of furniture should look like it had always been in her room and belonged to the Slaters, because she didn’t want Mrs. Jordan to claim/bargain over it as part of their father’s property. She also grabs the grandfather clock. Her mourning dress is not quite upto the mark and the fact that her sister (Mrs. Jordan) might outshine her was a fact that was strongly playing on her mind. The Slaters are in for a shock----the Jordans arrive while they are in the process of shifting furniture The Jordans are dressed in complete and proper mourning outfits. The sisters meet each other and pose that they are greatly disturbed. They seem to be sniffing non-existent tears. The Jordans then accuse the Slaters of not sending for a doctor if Mr. Pringle ( the family doctor was unavailable) The Slaters attempt to defend this.

13 The conversation moves on and Mrs. Slater informs how their father had gone out early, soon after breakfast to pay the insurance premium She also declares how he had come back drunk and fallen asleep She further mentions how his dinner tray had to be kept on the Bureau as he was asleep. She quickly realizes that they had shifted furniture and says the tray was put on the ‘chest of drawers. She was relieved that nobody really noticed. She then also tells how she found her father lying dead and cold in the bed and how Henry was informed about it. The Jordans who had come to the Slaters on the sad occasion of the father’s death preferred to have tea before going to have a look at his dead person to pay tribute. In the meantime they also discuss the obituary note that they would like to put in the newspaper. It is indeed troublesome as a reader to notice that these characters are all keen to have something ‘more for the look of it’ (about the obituary) rather than as a content to express heart-felt grief. Leaving the obituary topic undecided, Mrs. Jordan suggests that a list of all grandfather’s assets should be drawn up. In the same breath she claims that her father had promised his gold watch to Jimmy, her son.

14 Mrs. Slater expresses her doubt about this. Ben brushes aside this topic and asks if the Slaters had the receipt of the premium paid by Mr. Merryweather. It is then that the grandchild Victoria informs that he didn’t go to the town to pay the premium, but went to Ring-o-bells ( his favourite pub run by John Shorroks widow) This probability of his not having paid the premium upsets everyone as they felt they would lose out on a lot of money. To confirm this, Mrs. Slater sends Victoria to grandfather’s room to ‘fetch the keys’ to look for the receipt in the ‘bureau’ In the meantime, the Jordans get suspicious about the ‘bureau’ and ask a whole lot of questions and also examine it. Before the truth of the bureau comes out, Victoria comes down to say that Grandfather was getting up!!! Immediately after this Abel Merryweather appears on the scene. He is surprised to see the Jordans there. He is equally puzzled and curious about their mourning outfits.

15 His queries are answered clumsily by all present Soon after, they all settle for tea. Mrs. Jordan’s efforts to clarify things make grandfather remember having a recollection of the fact that the Slaters had come to his room to carry the ‘bureau ‘away. He is shocked to see his bureau and the Clock in the sitting room. Elizabeth Jordan tries to explain that the Slaters tried to rob him after they thought him to be ‘dead’ Mr. Merryweather is amused to hear about his own death. He, however expresses his shock at his daughters’ hurry to divide his assets(property) He then announces that he would make a fresh will naming all his assets for whoever he would be living with then. Both the sisters vie with each other to have the father with them. Abel Merryweather gives them a shock by announcing that he has three important things to do on Monday next— 1.Get his Will altered 2.Pay his premium 3.Get married to Mrs. John Shorroks (Owner of Ring-o-Bells) He also declares that he would move with bag ‘n’ baggage to Ring-o-Bells along with the Bureau and leave everything to the lady he was marrying. He departs from them finally.



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