Something to Talk About" Portray Sydney‟s behaviour as a family thriving for some change.

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Something to Talk About" Portray Sydney‟s behaviour as a family thriving for some change.

Post by Archer on Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:47 am

“Something to talk about‟ is a delightful comedy in one act by Philpotts. The play is about a burglar and a rich family. It is a clever and pleasant representation of the temperament of Modern English people, who might well find nocturnal alarm a matter of objective entertainment. The members of the family don‟t lose wits at the arrival of the burglar. They behave so politely, confidently, light heartedly and sincerely that it is the burglar who is bewildered at being treated with such genuine politeness. The comedy lies in „the tables turned‟. It is the burglar who meets the unexpected.
The Sydney‟s are an interesting family. They represent the modern man who loves thrilling situations. They are living an uneventful life. They want to have a thrill so that they may become famous in the locality. They want publicity at all costs. Therefore they welcome the wolf in their house. They are so hungry for adventure that they are not afraid of the wolf. They were fed up with the dull routine of their lives and wanted something unusual to happen in the family. People always say that Sydney‟s are the oldest and dullest family in which nothing but weddings and funerals take place. As it is said “Change is the law of nature and it is the nature of man to make changes.”
Guy even says to the burglar,


“…….? People always say we are the oldest and dullest family in the country. Nothing ever happens to the Sydney.
The point to note here is that change seems to be the desire of human life. It is not a height of irony that he is welcoming a burglar for the sake of change. Later part of the play indicates that not only Guy alone, but also, all members of the family have been suffering from the same disease for a long time. As Guy says,
“ We never get into newspapers, we never even have accidents out hunting, and no burglars, no fires; nothing but weddings and funerals. But now all‟s changed!”
Lady Redchester calls him a new sort of “Santa Claus”. Bishop preaches him that he should change and become God‟s sheep. Each one is amazed to see the wolf. They are ready to assist him in robbing the safe. The Wolf is told all details of the gifts, which are enclosed, in the safe. For the sake of fun, he is told to try his luck by using gas cylinder to unlock the safe. They want to amuse themselves with the help of Wolf. When he fails to do so; he is told the exact code No. of the safe. All gifts of Christmas are brought out of the safe. He checks them one by one and on requests of family members, they are given to each of them. The necklace is given to the mother who is very happy to wear it as it suits her; similarly each of them is happy to try their ornaments and gifts and are thankful to their father who has brought them for Christmas.
When the Wolf intends to take them back; they are reluctant. They request him not to rob them of their gifts on such a sacred day; The Wolf says to them that he has also a family to support. The clergyman, the uncle of Sydney, plays a hideous trick on the wolf. He shows him the house of another rich man with much more valuable things and the details of his safety to return after theft. Thus the tables are turned. Lord Redchester sums up the situation in these words,
Grand Fellow! Something to talk about at last.
The confidence of Guy, the child like happiness of Lettice, the dignified bearing of Lord Redchester, Lady Redchester‟s calling the burglar a new sort of Santa Claus. Fatherly behaviour of uncle Bishop and the humorous reaction of Preston baffle the burglar and amuse the reader to a very delightful extent. Thus is clearly shows Sydney‟s behaviour as a family driving for some change.

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