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Thread: The dinner party

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    Yelp 32 The dinner party

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    Q. 13 Write a note Mrs. Wynne, the grandmamma, and her behavior in “The dinner party”.
    Answer: “The dinner party” is a comic skit. The characters are not comic but the situation in which they are caught is comic. Mrs. Wynne’s behavior causes discomfort to others but she is not conscious of it. She is clever and talkative. She pretends to be hard of bearing when it suits her. She is used to have her own way in talking. She does not hesitate to employ all kinds of tricks to dominate conversation. Mrs. Wynne is not humorous or amusing talker. She is vain and boring. She pretends to have some interest in literature but her talk does not support her pretension. Her remarks on new novels about marital problems are not particularly brilliant. She has no sense of humour, and, as the author says, she is too old to have any pity for anyone. Talking is an obsession with her. She opens the conversation with a reference to her meetings with Mrs. Dickens and Mrs. Thackeray. During the evening she talks about these meetings again and again but she has nothing to say about their works except that “there are books like theirs now”. She dose not remember much about the two writers except that she had met them. Perhaps there is nothing to remember. She had met them by chance and exchanged nothing but greetings. Naturally her account of her meetings with these literary giants has no interest for her guests. Mrs. Wynne is an old woman and naturally her past is more precious for her than the present. It is not surprising that she always talks of her past experiences. It is a psychological compulsion. The old people live in the past. It is more real and worthwhile for them, for it was the period when they were the main characters in the drama of life. It was the time when they occupied the center of the stage. Now that time has pushed them off the stage, they cannot but remember the days of their youth and talk about them. The young live in the present. The past of their elders does not mean much to them. Thus, the relationship between the young and the old generations becomes somewhat difficult and uneasy if not unhappy. “The dinner party” illustrates this situation effectively.


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