SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
Q.1. What do the Sydneys think about the burglar?
Or What is the attitude of young generation towards crimes and criminology?
The Sydneys are a strange rich family where nothing happens except marriages and funeral. If an extraordinary thing happens to them they try to enjoy it however worst it may be. Enjoying the worst circumstances is the hall mark of Sydney family.
On a charismas morning a notorious burglur breaks into the house of Sydney. When he is trying to open the safe, Guy Sydney comes there. Wolf orders him to raise his hands by pointing his pistol at him. Guy Sydney instead of being afraid, receives Wolf warmly and offers him wine and soda. He tells him “You’re manna in the wilderness—you are indeed.”
Lattice comes into the room with the consent of Wolf. She exclaims “How brave of him! How thrilling!’ She says, “let’s sing to him gently—a Christmas carol.” Then Lord Redehester appears there. He says, ‘Glad to know you.” Lady Redehester, too, expresses her wonder to find Wolf in their house. She examines Wolf and exclaims, “The terror of England! And under our roof! How nice of him!’
Finally, the Bishop is brought to the scene of burglary. He sees Wolf and addresses him in his true colours. He does not praise him nor does he express his surprise at his presence in the mansion. The Bishop handles Wolf tactfully and at last dupes him into accepting an offer of making a large fortune by looting an another estate at a distance of three miles from there.
At the exit of Wolf, Lord Redehester calls him a grand fellow who has given them something to talk about. 263
- No. 2. Write down the theme of the play, ‘Something to about
Wolfs words: There ain’t no criminal classes, any more than virtuous classes. The rogues and the rulers may both come from the gutter or the Palace. A man can be in the House of Common today and the House of Detention tomorrow…’ best describe the theme of the play. In this world no body is born to be a thief or a lord. Circumstances make him what he is. It is possible that a child born in humble house may become a king and a child born in a palace may become a beggar or a thief. Wolf desires to have a caring and loving father like Redchester. He reveals the bitter fact that his father has not treated him well. It might be his father’s carelessness and indifference to him due to which he is a burglar. Otherwise his love and respect for his mother and his philosophical arguments show that inwardly he is a noble person. On the other hand Bishop who is born in an aristocratic family and is a religious person, is a materialist. Wolf dislikes Bishop for his hypocritical nature. He tells him: ‘You might be one of us yourself” Lettice’ words: ‘Gold always suits Uncle Charles’ throw light on the real nature of Charles. 210
- 3. How does the Bishop try to get back the Christmas gifts?
Or How does the bishop overcome the burglar? How are the tables turned on Wolf?
Or What is the role of the Bishop?
When Wolf refuses to give them back their Christmas gifts, all the members of the family, except Lord Redchester, start abusing and cursing him. But all their entreating and cursing fail to soften his heart. Upon this, the Bishop comes forward and plays the dirtiest game. He uses the trump card. He asks the Wolf to spare them and in return they will help him plunder their neighbours. He tells him that Lord Wallaby is their next door neighbour. He is worth ten millions. He has got a precious gold plate in his dining-room and portable pieces of old china in the drawing room. The Wallabys will dine with them tonight and so from eight till eleven their house will be at his mercy. He can break into his house and grab booty worth many million pounds. He also tells him the secret corner of entering into house. Guy offers him their touring car to get the booty to town. The Wolf falls a prey to their trick and gives their presents back in the hope of getting more money from their neighbours. Thus the tables are turned and the robber himself becomes the robbed. Even he hands over his revolver to Lord Redchester. In this way, bishop succeeds in saving his family gifts from the burglur. 217
- 4 Draw a character sketch of the Wolf.
The Wolf is a notorious burglar of England. He is dressed in tight-fitting. He has a black cap on his head and a black mask over his eyes. He is carrying an electric torch in one hand and a bag of tools in the other. He has also got a revolver. He is said to be skilled in breaking safes. On the Christmas morning he enters Lord Redchester’s house with a view to robbing them. But he comes out himself robbed by them.
He is philosophical in his thinking. He thinks that there is no criminal classes or virtuous classes. The rogues and the rulers may both come from some humble place or some grand palace. He means to say that being rich does not mean that you are pious too. His speech is a mild attack on people in power. His behaviour and ideas show he is not a bad person by nature. He respects Lord Redchester because of his nobility and presents him his revolver. He hates people like Bishop who pretends to be what they are not. He tells Charles: ‘You might be one of us yourself” due to his hypocritical nature. His conversation shows that he is not clever but intelligent. We can say that he is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing but a Sheep in wolf’s clothing. 223
Q.5 The Wolf proves to be a sheep in the Wolf’s clothing. Discuss. 2001, 2002
Or The Wolf is a burglar with a difference. Discuss.
Lettice calls him a ‘lost sheep in wolfs clothing’. He pretends to be like the bloody brute but his behaviour shows that he is a gentle sheep. He is the ‘terror of England’ but there is nothing terrifying about him. During the time he stays at Redchester’s house he tries to open the safe but fails. He meets all the members of the family one by one. He threatens them to ‘plug’ them with his revolver but he does not harm any of them. He rather accepts their demands and makes them happy. His behaviour and ideas show he is not a bad person by nature. Circumstances seem to have forced him to be a thief. His words: ‘If I’d had a father like that I might have been a very different man’ shows that his father is responsible for making him a thief. Even now he is a burglar but with a difference. He respects Lord Redchester because of his nobility and presents him his revolver. He hates people like Bishop who pretends to be what they are not. He tells Charles: ‘You might be one of us yourself” due to his hypocritical nature. His conversation shows that he is not clever but intelligent. We can say that he is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing but a Sheep in wolf’s clothing. 223
Q.7 Draw a character sketch of Guy Sydney.
Guy Sydney is a young man He is the son of Lord Redchester. He is the first who meets the Wolf. When we first see him he is in pajamas and slippers Wolf orders him to raise his hands by pointing his pistol at him. Guy Sydney instead of being afraid, receives Wolf warmly and offers him wine and soda. He tells him “You’re manna in the wilderness—you are indeed.”
Guy Sydney introduces the Sydney family. He seems to be proud of his being Sydney. He talks too much about them and considers them free from all evils. ‘Sydneys couldn’t be treacherous. ‘Sydneys never pull people’s legs. ‘A Sydney can’t lie.’ ‘A Sydney never talks through his hat. “The Sydneys are faithful unto death.’
He being intelligent person at once sides with his uncle and prompts the Wolf to follow his advice. He also tries to make him understand the right way to enter their neighbour’s house. He offers him his touring car to shift the booty to town.
Guy may have many qualities but the way he introduces his sister. Lettice, to the Wolf is just shameful. It shows his moral degradation. By mentioning her age and stressing upon her beauty he acts as a pimp. 208
- 8. What does the title ‘Something to Talk About’ signify?
The title ‘Something to Talk About’ suggests that the arrival of the world famous burglar in the house of Lord Redchester is an exciting incident about which they can talk at length in the days to come. They are spending a dull and boring life. Nothing ever happens to them. They never run away with other men’s wives or their money. They have never got into newspapers. They never even have accidents while hunting. The Sydneys are a strange rich family where nothing happens except marriages and funeral. If an extraordinary thing happens to them they try to enjoy it however worst it may be. Enjoying the worst circumstances is the hall mark of Sydney family.
But after the arrival of the Wolf everything changed. It was like a stone thrown into the stagnant water. It had created ripples in the calm of Tudor Manor. Now they found ‘some Christmas’ for them. The burglar had brightened their life. However, the ‘Something’ of the title is ambiguous Will they talk about the ‘terror of England1 or about the way they terrorized him and sent him home empty-handed?