ইউ নেভার কেন টেল জর্জ বার্নার্ড শ বাংলা সামারি
Character List of You never Can Tell
Dorothea (Dolly) Clandon: The daughter of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon and twin sister of Philip Clandon, Dolly, eighteen years old, has “a rapidly clearing cloud of Spartan obstinacy on her tiny firm set mouth and quaintly squared eyebrows.”
Mr. Valentine: A young dentist, Valentine, about thirty years of age, has tried a number of other occupations, as the mood has struck him over the years. “His professional manner evidently strikes him as being a joke, and is underlain by a thoughtless pleasantry which betrays the young gentleman still unsettled and in search of amusing adventures.”
The Parlor Maid: Working in Valentine’s office, the parlor maid appears infrequently.
Philip Clandon: The son of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon and twin brother of Dolly Clandon, Philip, 18, is handsome and decisive. “Suavity and self-possession are points of honor with him” and he possesses “perfect manners and a finishe dpersonal style which might be envied by a man twice his age.”
Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon: The mother of Dolly, Philip, and Gloria, Mrs. Clandon is the estranged wife of Mr. Crampton and the author of a number of modern feminist tracts. “She is distinctly old fashioned for her age in dress and manners. But she belongs to the forefront of her own period (say 1860-80) in a jealously assertive attitude of character and intellect, and in being a woman of cultivated interests rather than passionately developed personal affections.”
Gloria Clandon: The attractive daughter of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon, Gloria, in her early twenties, has been raised to be like her mother. However, “unlike her mother, she is all passion; and the conflict of her passion with her obstinate pride and intense fastidiousness results in a freezing coldness of manner.” She does, however, fall in love with Valentine and is engaged to him at the end of the play.
Mr. Crampton: Valentine’s landlord, Mr. Crampton is soon revealed as Mrs. Clandon’s estranged husband and Dolly, Philip, and Gloria’s father. “His capacity for suffering acutely from all the dislike that his temper and obstinacy can bring upon him is proved by his wistful, wounded eyes, by a plaintive note in his voice, and painful want of confidence in his welcome, and a constant but indifferently successful effort to correct his natural incivility of manner and proneness to take offence.”
Walter Boon: The head waiter at the resort hotel, Walter is probably the most level, rational, and understanding of the entire play. He is the father of Walter “Bohun,” an important attorney for the queen. “He has a certain expression peculiar to men who have been extraordinarily successful in their callings, and who, whilst aware of the vanity of success, are untouched by envy.”
Finch McComas: A former close friend and suitor of Mrs. Clandon, Finch McComas is now her solicitor, helping her in simple business and legal matters, including explaining to her children who their father is. “He is about fifty, clean shaven, and close-cropped, with the corners of his mouth turned down purposely, as if he suspected them of wanting to turn up, and was determined not to let them have their way.”
Jo: A waiter at the resort hotel, Jo works under the supervision of Walter Boon.
Walter Bohun: The son of Walter Boon, the waiter, the younger Boon has changed the spelling of his name and distanced himself from his father. He is now an attorney for the queen. “When he speaks, his powerful, menacing voice, impressively articulated speech, strong inexorable manner, and a terrifying power of intensely critical listening raise the impression produced by him to absolute tremendousness.”
Summary of You Never Can Tell
At a seaside resort, the young dentist, Valentine, extracts a tooth from his first patient, the voluble Dolly, who has just arrived with her family from Madeira. Her equally voluble twin brother, Philip, appears, and at once they invite the dentist to lunch. They are joined at the dentist’s office by their mother, the famous Mrs. Clandon, authoress of social-reform treatises; and by their elder sister, Gloria, who is her mother’s haughty disciple. Valentine promptly falls in love with Gloria, though she initially seems to have no interest in him.
Believing she has no need of a husband and her children have no need of a father, Mrs. Clandon, though presses by Valentine and the children, refuses to tell her children who their father is (she separated from him when the children were very young, and they haven’t seen him since); and she leaves. At that time, Valentine’s landlord, the ill-tempered Fergus Crampton appears, wanting an aching a tooth pulled. Valentine bets the six weeks rent that he owes Crampton that he can extract the tooth without Crampton feeling it. Crampton agrees, and Valentine pulls off the feat, surreptitiously using a bit of anesthetic. The twins immediately invite Crampton to also join them for lunch.
Later in the day, on the terrace of the resort hotel, Mrs. Clandon and her three children meet with her solicitor, Finch McComas, before lunch. McComas is an old friend of Mrs. Clandon and at one time a suitor, but is now simply her efficient solicitor. Mrs. Clandon has invited him to lunch to tell her children about their long-lost father. However, they quickly learn of the coincidence that Valentine’s landlord, Crampton, is none other than the father they can’t remember. Their dismay at such a discovery is somewhat allayed when they learn he is wealthy. At that time Valentine and Crampton arrive, and Crampton is greatly upset by the unexpected meeting with his family. The luncheon party threatens repeatedly to blow up, and is saved only by Walter Boon, the “perfect waiter,” who diplomatically smoothes everyone’s feelings and tells them of his son, a distinguished attorney for the queen. After lunch, Gloria infuriates Crampton with her cold rationality, but is herself completely thrown off balance by Valentine’s “sensible and scientific” courting methods.
Later in the day, the wild-spirited twins explain to their mother that Gloria’s recent emotional and out-of-character behavior is due to her having fallen in love. Valentine adds that he has won Gloria by using “thoroughly modern” scientific methods in the “duel of sex.” However, when Gloria hears that Valentine has loved other women, she furiously rejects him. McComas, in the meantime, reports that Crampton is demanding custody of the twins and observes that, though Crampton is uncouth, he is a kind man who has been unfairly dealt with in the separation deal. He further convinces Mrs. Clandon to agree to arbitration by the waiter’s attorney-son, who is soon to visit.
That evening, during a masked ball, the visiting attorney expertly brings about a friendly reconciliation between the members of the family—and between Valentine and Gloria. It appears that Gloria, too, has had a number of romantic relationships, a fact that shocks and enrages Valentine but also opens the way their peacemaking and engagement. As all dance the evening away, Valentine, “the defeated Duellist of Sex,” ruefully observes that he feels like “a married man already.” The waiter, Walter, comfort him about marriage: though his wife, like Gloria, “was of a commanding and masterful disposition,” his marriage turned out very well. “I’d do it again, I assure you,” he tells Valentine. “You never can tell, sir.”