2I. The authorJohn Galsworthy ( ), is one of the most famous English novelists and playwrights of the early 20th century. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1932.During his career, he produced 20 novels, 27 plays, 173 short stories and other works.The Forsyte Saga
3Galsworthy is known for his portrayal of the British upper middle class and for his social satire. He regarded the novel as a lawful instrument of social propaganda. He believed that it was the duty of an artist to state a problem, to throw light upon it, but not to provide a solution.
5II. “Quality”“Quality” is a realistic portrayal of social life. It is constructed in a rather conventional way.
6The action line in this story follows the customary course of well-constructed plots. It is a particular arrangement of happenings in a novel that is aimed at revealing their causal relaionships or at conveying the novelist’s ideas. A plot is sometimes called a story line.
71. Phases of PlotExpositionConflictClimaxDenouement
81. Phases of Plot 1. Exposition 2. Conflict It provides the reader with the knowledge of Gessler Brothers, their shops, and their attitude toward making boots.The brothers are faced by the competition of the big firm. When they lose one of the two shops, the conflict between the big firm and handicraftsmen is strengthened.
93. Climax4. DenouementThe climax arrives when the surviving younger brother can no longer make a living.The denouement comes with his death and the success of the big firm.
102. Characters The main characters are the Gessler Brothers. We may infer that they are German immigrants or Englishmen of German origin.They are poor, belonging to the lower social stratum.They show integrity and complete dedication to their work.
11The characters are revealed in conflict in both ways: Externally, between Gessler Brothers and the big firm.Internally, within the younger brother himself.
12The brothers in a difficult situation and poses a moral choice before them: whether they should give up their ideal to meet the competition or …stick to their ideal and face any consequences.The younger brother would rather die of starvation than cheapen his products.
13His tragic death as an outcome thus greatly intensifies his noble personality and heightens the theme of the story.
143. The meaning of “quality” The word “quality” acquires a double meaning.In a highly competitive commercial society, the Gessler Brothers maintain the quality of their boots.They display their quality of human nature.
154. SymbolsThe basic symbols are the Gesslers, their boots and the leather they use. They form a compound symbol of an uncompromising ideal.Their boots, made of the best leather and incarnating the very spirit of all footgear, are their ideal which stands for a supreme quality of human nature.
162. The Gessler Brothers stand for their type of human beings. Their personal moral victory reveals the richness of human values.Their death symbolizes the defeat of something larger than themselves. It becomes a blow against the pre-industrial practice of combining making a living with making a life, an attack on the personal responsibility of an artisan for his work.
17The tragedy of the Gessler Brothers signifies a moral decay in the search for material civilization. Human values are threatened by material gain.