The Dear Departed Summary Class 10th English

The Dear Departed Summary Class 10th English


A true test of people is how they behave towards the elderly. With modernisation, reverence of the elderly seems to have suffered a grievous blow. All happiness to the elderly is parsimoniously measured out. Too often the elderly suffer death by invisibility long before their physical demise. The daughters in ‘Dear Departed’ are very materialistic and like beasts of prey, they are only ready to pounce on the money and belongings of their father. Keeping father at home has become a tiresome burden. Looking towards the elderly has become a matter of comfort and financial aid rather than for inspiration and emotional strength. For a civilised society a new culture of giving needs to be ushered and one must give to the elderly without any selfish motive. We must remember that the difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is only a twist of the wrist.


The play ‘The Dear Departed’ presents an interesting situation that has tragically become common place in the world of today. The scene of the play is set in the sittingroom of a small house in a lower middle-class district of a provincial town. The setting of the play reveals that the tea-table has been laid. Mrs Slater, a plump and active lady is in mourning and she is getting ready to receive some guests. She beckons to her daughter Victoria, who is ten year old, and instructs her to change into something sober. It is revealed that Victoria’s grandfather has passed away and the Slater family is getting ready to receive Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Ben. Victoria expresses surprise at this news because her aunt and uncle had not paid them a visit for years. Mrs Slater reveals that they were coming over to talk about grandfather’s affairs, on hearing of his death. In the meanwhile Mr Slater enters. He is a heavy man who stoops he is also in mourning dress.

Henry Slater is skeptical whether Elizabeth will come, for the last time when Mrs Slater and Elizabeth had quarrelled, she had vowed never to pay a visit again to their house. Mrs Slater gives Henry new slippers of her father. She also plans to take away the new bureau of the grandfather and shift it to their room, before Elizabeth and Ben arrive. Both the husband and wife, lock the front door and shift the bureau down and put their old chest of drawers there. Victoria wants to know why they were stealing grandfather’s things but her mother tells her to remain quiet. Grandpa’s new clock is also taken away. Meanwhile Grandpa was stirring and moving. After some time Mr Abel Merryweather enters and is surprised to see his other daughter and son-in-law, Mr and Mrs Jordan. He reveals that he was well and just had a slight headache he notices Henry wearing his new slippers and takes them. Abels wishes to know, why all were in mourning dresses. Mrs Jordan makes up some story to pacify him. Abel Merryweather enjoys tea and has a generous slice of the apple-pie. He grumbles and scolds Mrs Slater for taking away his bureau. Mrs Jordan gets agitated and accuses her sister of robbing her father. The husbands also join their wives in hurling accusations at each other Abel discovers about his death. He addresses his daughters directly and declares that he was going to change his will and all the money will go to the one, in whose house he dies. Both the daughters fight with each other to keep their father. Abel is amused and watches all the fun. At last he makes his announcement which shocks everyone. On Monday, he would go to the lawyer and alter his will, then he would go to the insurance office and pay his premium. After that he would go to the church and get married to Mrs Shorrock. Everyone is shocked. Abel reveals that he had at last found someone who was happy to keep him. He exits with an invitation of his marriage. He also thanks Mrs Slater for shifting the Bureau down-stairs for now it will be easy to cart it away to “Ring-O-Bells.’


• outshine : to compete and try to overdo more than the other

• speck : a bit or particle

• trifles : small small things

• complacent : easily satisfied

• outfit : dress • accustomed : used to

• regrettable : worth regretting • chirpy : cheerful

• furtively : in a sky manner

• etiquettes : manners

• swindling : cheating

• reluctantly : hesitatingly

• disparaging : to speak in a hurting manner

• transfixed : stunned

• vindictive : revengeful

• disconcerted : to be disturbed

• snappishly : irritably

>>> View NCERT Solutions Of The Dear Departed 

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