‘The Dining Room’ (Father): “You tell Miss Kelly that, if you please”

'The Dining Room' by A. R. Gurney

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Father, the head of a well-to-do household.

Gender: Male

Age Range: 40's | 50's

Summary: A father lectures his son on politics.

More: Read the Play

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FATHER: I’ll tell you exactly why, if the government keeps on handing out money, no one will want to work. And if no one wants to work, there won’t be anyone around to support such things as private schools. And if no one is supporting private schools, then Miss Kelly will be standing on the breadlines along with everyone else. You tell Miss Kelly that, if you please.

Now you listen to me, Charlie. Miss Kelly may be an excellent teacher. Her factoring may be flawless, her geography beyond question. But Miss Kelly does not teach us politics. Nor does she teach us how to run our lives. She is not going to tell you, or me, to leave in the middle of a pleasant breakfast, and get caught in the bulk of the morning traffic, just so that you can arrive in time for a silly hymn. Long after you’ve forgotten that hymn, long after you’ve forgotten how to factor, long after you’ve forgotten Miss Kelly, you will remember these pleasant breakfasts around this dining room table.

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