Saturday, March 26, 2022

Summary of A Matter of Husbands (One Act Play) by Ferenc Molnar | Class XII English Note (Exercise)

A Matter of Husbands

Summary of A Matter of Husbands (One Act Play) by  Ferenc Molnar | Class XII English Note (Exercise)

CHARACTERS:

FAMOUS ACTRESS

EARNEST YOUNG WOMAN

Summary

‘A Matter of Husbands’ by Ferenc Molnar is a twisted one act play. The play sheds light on the basic function of actors: to make the audience believe in illusion. It depicts the story of an earnest young wife who is married to a lawyer having an affair with a famous and glamorous actress.


The Earnest Woman comes to the Famous Actress. She asks the Earnest Woman to give her husband back. The Famous Actress only stares at her in speechless bewilderment. The Earnest woman describes her husband as a blond man, who is not very tall, puts on glasses, a lawyer of her manager, and his name is Alfred. She insists on the Famous Actress giving him back. The Famous Actress admits she has met him once or twice while signing the contract. The Earnest Woman says that his husband sends flowers to the Famous Actress all the time. But she denies it.


The Earnest Woman takes out the letter from her bag, written to the Famous Actress by her husband, and reads for her. She found it on his desk this morning. He probably intended to send it to the theater by messenger. But he forgot it. She blames the Famous Actress for luring her husband with her make-up, dresses, bright light of the stage and lines written by an author.


The Famous Actress claims that she never received a flower, or a letter, or anything else from Alfred. She tries to convince the Earnest Woman saying that Alfred meets other women to make her feel jealous and revive her interest in him. She adds that authors, composers, scene designers, lawyers, orchestra leaders, even the managers need to invent a love affair with an actress like her to regain a wife and sweetheart’s affection. The Famous Actress is able to make the Ernest Woman believe her lie.


The Earnest Woman considers herself as a fool. The Famous Actress advises her not to be taken with letters, handkerchiefs, her photograph, flowers he sends, or appointments he makes, found in his pockets in a second time. The Earnest Woman now becomes her admirer. She kisses the Famous Actress impetuously, wetting her cheek with tears; then she rushes out. After her departure, the Famous Actress calls Alfred hiding in her boudoir.

Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a. What favour does Earnest Young Woman ask from The Famous Actress?
...
Answer:
The Earnest Young Woman asks the Famous Actress to give her husband back.

b. What, according to The Earnest Young Woman, are the indications that her husband has fallen in love with Famous Actress?
...
Answer:
According to The Earnest Young Woman, the Famous Actress’s make-up, dresses, bright light and lines written by an author, are the indications that her husband has fallen in love with Famous Actress.

c. Is Earnest Young Woman convinced by the argument of Famous Actress? How?
...
Answer:
The Famous Actress says that Alfred meets other women to make her feel jealous and revive her interest in him. She adds that authors, composers, scene designers, lawyers, orchestra leaders, even the managers need to invent a love affair with an actress like her to regain a wife and sweetheart’s affection. In this way, the Ernest Woman is convinced.

d. Where is the Earnest Young Woman’s husband hiding himself as they are talking about him?
...
Answer:
He is hiding himself in the boudoir.

e. When do you feel that Famous Actress is really good at acting?
...
Answer:
I feel the Famous Actress is really good at acting as the Famous Actress weaves a tale about the man attempting to trick his wife to get more affection from her.

f. How do we come to know that Famous Actress and the husband of Earnest Young Woman are in love?
...
Answer:
We come to know that the Famous Actress and the husband of the Earnest Woman are in love as the Famous actress calls him after the Ernest Women’s departure

g. Write down the plot of the play in a paragraph.
...
Answer:
The Earnest Woman comes to the Famous Woman because she believes that her husband is cheating on her with the Famous Woman. The Famous Woman weaves a tale about how it is a cleverly staged act in which the man is attempting to trick his wife to get more affection from her. When the Famous Woman finally convinces the Ernest Woman that the story is true, we find out that the husband was hiding in the closet the whole time.

 
Summary of A Matter of Husbands (One Act Play) by  Ferenc Molnar | Class XII English Note (Exercise)

Reference to the context

a. Sketch the character of Famous Actress.

The Famous Actress is one of the major characters of the play. She is in love with the Earnest Woman’s husband. She weaves a tale about how it is a cleverly staged act in which the man is attempting to trick his wife to get more affection from her. When she finally convinces the Ernest Woman that the story is true, we find out that the husband was hiding in the closet the whole time.

b. Shed light on the difference between an ordinary woman and an actress.

An ordinary woman seems to be devoted to her husband. When she comes to know that her husband is in love with an actress, she goes to the actress to give her husband back. She is simple and having no idea about make-up, dresses and lines of the author. She is easily convinced with the false story woven by the actress. On the contrary, the actress is a shrewd woman. She along with the lawyer cheats the woman. She seems to convince the ordinary woman that it is nothing but an illusion.

a. According to Famous Actress, men associated with theatre use the theatre actresses to make their estranged wives jealous so as to woo them back. Do you agree with her argument? Why? Why not?

No, I don’t agree with the statement. The Famous Actress’s argument is only for handling the troubling situation. She is not telling her truth. Not all men associated with theatre use the actress to make their wife jealous so that that they can gain love from their wives. This is a false assumption. There are several ways to make their wives happy and love them back, instead of pretending having a love affair with other women.

d. How does Famous Actress make a fool of Earnest Young Woman?

The Famous Actress says that Alfred meets other women to make her feel jealous and revive her interest in him. She adds that authors, composers, scene designers, lawyers, orchestra leaders, even the managers need to invent a love affair with an actress like her to regain a wife and sweetheart’s affection. The Famous Actress is convinced. In this way, the Famous Actress makes a fool of the Earnest Woman.

e. The conversation between the two women takes place on the stage of the theatre. What role does the theatre house as a part of setting play in A Matter for Husband?

The entire play is set in the theatre house. The time is late afternoon. One of the characters is the Famous actress whose job is to perform on the stage in the theatre house. As the Famous Actress is thought be available there, the Earnest Woman comes to her and asks to give her husband back. The theatre house is the place which provides the opportunity to all the characters gather and interact with each other.

f. What do you think about the ending of the play?

The play ends with the Famous Actress calling the Earnest Woman’s husband, Alfred after her departure. This shows the basic functions of actors which make the audience believe in illusion.

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