You never can tell

You Never Can Tell By G.B. Shaw | Characters | Summary

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You Never Can Tell character list

Mr. Crampton

Mr. Crampton is the husband of Mrs. Clandon and father of Dolly, Philip and Gloria He is nearly sixty years old and ill-tempered person in contrast to Mrs. Clandon. The way he leads his life is not liked by Clandon. That’s why she seeks separation from him. After the separation of almost eighteen years from his wife and children, he changes his lifestyle and reconciled with his family.

Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon

Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon is the wife of Mr. Crampton and mother of Dolly, Philip and Gloria. She is a feminist and she believes the modern philosophy of life. The contrast between her and her husband make them separate from each other for eighteen years. After her separation from her husband, she lives with her three children and teaches them her own philosophy and ideas.

Gloria Clandon

Gloria Clandon is the handsome and beautiful daughter of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon. Gloria is a passionate girl although her mother tries to teach her own ideology to her daughters. At the end of the play, we see her as fallen in love with Mr. Valentine and marries him.

Dorothea (Dolly) Clandon

Dolly Clandon is the daughter of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon and the twin sister of Philip Clandon. She is eighteen years old charming girl. At the very beginning of the play, she comes to the dentist Mr. Valentine to have her tooth extracted.

Philip Clandon

Philip Clandon is the son of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon and the twin brother of Dolly. He is eighteen years old handsome boy. He is a well mannered and stylish character in the play. However, Philip is also proud of the way he leads his life with his mother and sisters.

Walter Boon

He is an important character in the play “You Never Can Tell”. We see him as the waiter in the marine hotel. He is the father of ‘Walter Bohun’ an attorney for the queen. Dolly calls him ‘William’ after william Shakespeare. According to him, life is a unpredictable mystery we will never can tell what happened in the future.

Walter Bohun

Walter Bohun is the son of Walter Boon. He is a prominent barrister and he is not ashamed of his father as a waiter. He arrives at the marine hotel on a false nose and fancy dress. For this reason, his father cannot recognize him but he himself introduces the waiter Boon to Mr. Crampton as his father. He plays a great role to reconcile the Clandon family.

Finch McComas

McComas is the former close friend and suitor of Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon. He is nearly fifty years old and we see him as a solicitor of the Clandon family. He always tries to help Mrs. Clandon in every matter. He tries his best to bring peace between Mr. Crampton and Mrs. Clandon. Ultimately, he plays a great role to bring the reunion of the family.

Real more: Desire Under the Elms summary

You Never Can Tell summary

“You Never Can Tell” is an anti-romantic comedy. We can consider it as a drama of ideas. In this type of drama a social problem is demonstrated and also a solution recommended. George Bernard Shaw perfectly implemented those things in his drama “You Never Can Tell”

The begins in the seaside resort in southern England. The teenage girl Dolly comes to a dentist named Mr. Valentine to have her tooth extracted. After completing her treatment she and her twin brother Philip invite Mr. Valentine to lunch with them at the Marine hotel. Mr. Valentine hesitates whether he accepts the invitation or not Because he doesn’t know who is the father of them. It is a matter of shame of the contemporary English society to have no father. Later on Mrs. Lanfrey Clandon the feminist and the authoress of social reform treatises along with the gorgeous Gloria come in the dentist champer. After seeing Gloria Mr Valentine falls in love with Gloria and accepts the invitation.

As a feminist Mrs. Clandon leads her own philosophy of life and teaches her children the same way. After almost eighteen years of separation from her husband, her children growing up and insist on her knowing the answer who is their father but she ignores. A few moments later the ill-tempered Mr. Crampton appears in the dentist chamber and tells him whether he can extract his teeth safely or not. Mr. Valentine assures him to do so. The twins (Dolly and Philip) immediately invite Mr Crampton for joining the lunch also.

In the very lunch day, Mrs. Clandon and her three children meet with the solicitor McComas before the lunch. Mccomas is the old friend of Mrs. Clandon and appointed as a solicitor of Mrs. Clandon family. Mrs. Clandon invites him to the lunch party to tell her children about their father. After a while, McComas tells the children Mr. Crampton is the real father of them. After knowing that Crampton is his father, Philip becomes excited and shares it with the waiter Walter Boon. Later, Mr. Valentine and his landlord Mr. Crampton arrive in the marine hotel for the lunch party. Meanwhile Walter Boon unveils Mr. Crampton is the father of the children. After experiencing this coincidence Mr. Crampton becomes surprised and shocked as well. He also shocked to hear that Valentine falls in love with Gloria.

Valentine tries to convince Gloria that he really loves her so much. Gloria doesn’t believe these types of flirtatious advances. Being a rationalist Gloria wants a scientific explanation as proof of Valentine’s true love. In reply to Gloria, Valentine explains it in terms of chemistry and the duel of sex. He says her that chemical laws work in the relation between man and woman. Just as elements combine together in order to make new compounds, men and women combine to give birth to children. When Gloria heard Valentine falls in love with so many women, she rejects Valentine. However, he overcomes it by applying another method and gets the heart of Gloria.

In the last scene, the attorney Walter Bohun the son of Walter Boon arrives at the marine hotel on a false nose and fancy dress for the fancy ball. He plays a significant role to reconcile the family and between Valentine and Gloria. At the end of the play, we see the family get reconciled and the waiter Walter Boon tells the mystery of life and utters his last words to Mr. Crampton “It’s the unexpected that always happens, isn’t it? You never can tell sir: you never can tell


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