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Period Piece

In: English and Literature

Submitted By alya1990
Words 1308
Pages 6
“Period Piece” by Joyce Cary
Summary

«Period Piece» written by an Anglo-Irish writer Joyce Cary is a humorous short story. It is basically about a respectable middle-aged man, Frank Tutin, who has fallen in love with his young secretary Phyllis. As a result Tutin wanted to divorce his wife Clare, but his mother-in-law Mrs. Beer protested against it and she came to London to save her daughter’s family.

Old Mrs. Beer was the widow of a canon. She was a short, stout woman with a red face and a heavy jaw – a pugnacious and indomitable face. At the beginning of the story we learn that there is something defeated about her. No one seems to listen to her, she has given up hope of any serious attention from anybody. But at the end of the story, when we understand that her words turned out to be true and helped to save her daughter’s family, she felt like a winner, maybe for the first time in her life: «Even in the way she slaps down the cards, one can see a certain self-satisfaction. It seems that she cherishes one victory».

As far as Tutin is concerned, he is a humane, a kindly and a thoroughly good natured, man, hating to quarrel with anybody. He was extremely upset by this crisis in his family life, he supposed his home life was growing every day more distracted, tense and impossible. He was also a person who couldn’t make his own decisions. Even when he decided to divorce, he still discussed it with his wife Clare, for days, analyzing all the complex factors involved.

In the middle of the story the author described the conversation between Tutin and his lover Phyllis. They quarreled, and Phyllis called him a “fat old fool”. At this moment the author helps us understand that they won’t be together. It was revealed that the only thing Phyllis loved was Tutin’s money. But it became clear to him only when Phyllis ran away with a young assistant film…...

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