Soames is anything but a simple character. He is, for one thing, a symbol of the possessive principle motivating the upper-middle-class of England. He is the most Forsyteian of the Forsytes, an honour he shares, perhaps, with his father, James; he is the embodiment of the need to possess which regards all things–land, bouses, paintings, even women–in terms of ownership QUESTIONS AND TASKS 1. What is John Galsworthy’s manner of writing? What distinguishes him from other writers of his generation? 2. How is Galsworthy’s ironic attitude to the family relationship of the Forsytes expressed? 3.
What is the author’s feeling towards his characters? Does he put it into words? 4. Is the description of the room and the dinner detailed or brief? Are the details of furniture, dress relevant for the understanding of the Forsytes? Make a list of details illustrative of the elegance of their home. 5. What are Galsworthy’s ways of disclosing the feelings of Soames? Point out the words showing Soames’s growing alarm. 6. Find out the sentences containing the author’s generalizations of the Forsyte character. 7. How far can we judge Soames by the attitude he adopts towards his wife? Also by her attitude to him. 8.
Pick out the epithets that characterize Irene’s dissatisfaction with her married life. 9. Prove that Soames’s feeling for his wife is that of a man of property. Show the means that make it clear that Soames looked upon Irene’s beauty as one of his finest possessions. Give examples and quotations from the text. 10. Why does Galsworthy repeatedly stress the silence of the husband and wife? 11. Analyse the short dialogue between husband and wife: which of their features stand out clearest in their conversation? 12. Characterize Soames’s manner of speaking. 13. Speak of the elements of parody in Galsworthy’s description of modern plays.