Wet Saturday - Summary | Major English Grade XI

John Collier

Wet Saturday

It was July. It was raining. Mr. Princey and his family members were inside the house. For Mr. Princey, his house was dearer than his wife, his daughter and his son. But now he was going to lose his dear house because of his daughter Millicent. To save it, he had to do something urgently.

Millicent had killed Withers, a curate of a local church. So, she was going to be hanged or put in lunatic asylum. In either case, Mr. Princey had to leave  the place and his house. He didn’t want this. So, he was asking his daughter about why and how she killed Withers.

Withers was going to another place past Mr. Princey’s house. He saw Millicent and wanted to meet her. Millicent had an illusion that he loved her. But he said he loved another girl, Ella Brangwyn Davies. She became angry and hit him on the back of his head with the end of a croquet post. She hit him many times in excitement.

While they were discussing about hiding the crime, Captain Smollett arrived and overheard them. Mr. Princey planned to drag him into his intrigue. He and his son, George, took Captain Smollett into the stable. Mr. Princey told George to punch Smollett twice in his face at gun point. He then made him catch the end of the croquet post used to kill Withers. He again made him drag the dead body down into the sewer.

After all, they all went back to the house. When Smollette had gone away, Mr. Princey called the police.

Important Questions Solutions:

1. Why does Mr. Princey detest his family? [2059/65]
Ans. Mr Princey is a selfish man who values his name, fame, self-esteem and identity than the family. His house is ill-managed because he does not give priority to the family bonds. He is a showy character. He only wants to walk outside, never smiling. He detests his hulking son. He hates his daughter Millicent because she has killed Withers. He is afraid that his prestige in the village will be damaged if she is sent to madhouse and charged of crime.

2. Do you take the story “Wet Saturaday” as a tragic or comic one? Why ? Give reasons. [2060]
Ans. There is no doubt that the story “Wet Saturday” written by John Collier is a tragic one. It is because lives of several innocents are destroyed. An innocent man Withers is killed by Millicent. Captain Smollet falls in the cruel trap of Mr. Princey. He is cruelly beaten and we can guess that Captain Smollet will be charged of crime that he has not committed. If he will be proved guilty, he will be hanged to death. In this story, the truth is overshadowed by falsehood. The plan of Mr. Princey, a selfish and cruel man, becomes successful. The setting is gloomy. The rain falling outside symbolizes the tears falling down from the eyes of several innocents. The lives of three innocents are ruined in this story- Withers, Smollet and Ella Brangwyn-Davies. The house of Mr. Princey is like a devil’s house because all the family members who live in that house do not value human sentiments. They are selfish and brutal. They charge Mr. Smollet for the crime committed by Millicent. Even bonds of love, humanity and human emotions is lacking there.

3. ‘Wet Saturday’ is a psychological story. Explain. [2065]
Ans. Wet Saturday is a psychological story in the sense that it shows that humans are no less savage than animals. This story shows how civilization is only a mask worn by humans. Psychologists claim that all humans are guided by their id / ego i.e quest for power, sex, prestige and wealth. Here the family of Millicent is guided by their ego to protect the prestige of their family. Millicent does not even hesitate to kill Withers, her lover. Similarly all the family members unite and brutally beat Captain Smollet and charge him for the crime done by Millicent. This story shows the dark and selfish side of man’s psychology.

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