Mrs. Warren’s Profession

by

George Bernard Shaw

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Reverend Sam Gardner Character Analysis

A man unsuited for the church, the Reverend Sam Gardner was pushed into his profession by a father who saw that he was not going to excel at anything else. Because he lived a wild, promiscuous life as a young man, he is overly concerned with keeping up his reputation and remaining a respected clergyman. Reverend Gardner preaches sanctimoniously to his son Frank and is hurt when Frank refuses to take him seriously.

Reverend Sam Gardner Quotes in Mrs. Warren’s Profession

The Mrs. Warren’s Profession quotes below are all either spoken by Reverend Sam Gardner or refer to Reverend Sam Gardner. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grindl Press edition of Mrs. Warren’s Profession published in 2016.
The Author's Apology Quotes

The dramatic reason for making the clergyman what Mrs Warren calls "an old stick-in-the-mud," whose son, in spite of much capacity and charm, is a cynically worthless member of society, is to set up a mordant contrast between him and the woman of infamous profession, with her well brought-up, straightforward, hardworking daughter.

Page Number: 29-30
Explanation and Analysis:

The most vicious man in the play is not in the least a stage villain; indeed, he regards his own moral character with the sincere complacency of a hero of melodrama. The amiable devotee of romance and beauty is shewn at an age which brings out the futilization which these worships are apt to produce if they are made the staple of life instead of the sauce. The attitude of the clever young people to their elders is faithfully represented as one of pitiless ridicule and unsympathetic criticism, and forms a spectacle incredible to those who, when young, were not cleverer than their nearest elders, and painful to those sentimental parents who shrink from the cruelty of youth, which pardons nothing because it knows nothing. In short, the characters and their relations are of a kind that the routineer critic has not yet learned to place; so that their misunderstanding was a foregone conclusion.

Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 1 Quotes

REV. S. [severely] Yes. I advised you to conquer your idleness and flippancy, and to work your way into an honorable profession and live on it and not upon me.
FRANK. No: thats what you thought of afterwards. What you actually said was that since I had neither brains nor money, I'd better turn my good looks to account by marrying someone with both. Well, look here. Miss Warren has brains: you can't deny that.
REV. S. Brains are not everything.
FRANK. No, of course not: theres the money—
REV. S. [interrupting him austerely] I was not thinking of money, sir. I was speaking of higher things. Social position, for instance.
FRANK. I don't care a rap about that.
REV. S. But I do, sir.
FRANK. Well, nobody wants you to marry her. Anyhow, she has what amounts to a high Cambridge degree; and she seems to have as much money as she wants.

Related Characters: Frank Gardner (speaker), Reverend Sam Gardner (speaker), Vivie Warren
Page Number: 54-55
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2 Quotes

MRS WARREN [reflectively] Well, Sam, I don't know. If the girl wants to get married, no good can come of keeping her unmarried.
REV. S. [astounded] But married to him!—your daughter to my son! Only think: it's impossible.
CROFTS. Of course it's impossible. Don't be a fool, Kitty.
MRS WARREN [nettled] Why not? Isn't my daughter good enough for your son?
REV. S. But surely, my dear Mrs Warren, you know the reasons—
MRS WARREN [defiantly] I know no reasons. If you know any, you can tell them to the lad, or to the girl, or to your congregation, if you like.
REV. S. [collapsing helplessly into his chair] You know very well that I couldn't tell anyone the reasons. But my boy will believe me when I tell him there are reasons.
FRANK. Quite right, Dad: he will. But has your boy's conduct ever been influenced by your reasons?

Related Characters: Kitty Warren (Mrs. Warren) (speaker), Frank Gardner (speaker), Sir George Crofts (speaker), Reverend Sam Gardner (speaker), Vivie Warren
Page Number: 62-63
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

FRANK. I give him due credit for that. [Rising and flinging down his paper] But just imagine his telling Crofts to bring the Warrens over here! He must have been ever so drunk. You know, my dear Praddy, my mother wouldn't stand Mrs Warren for a moment. Vivie mustn't come here until she's gone back to town.
PRAED. But your mother doesn't know anything about Mrs Warren, does she? [He picks up the paper and sits down to read it].
FRANK. I don't know. Her journey to town looks as if she did. Not that my mother would mind in the ordinary way: she has stuck like a brick to lots of women who had got into trouble. But they were all nice women. Thats what makes the real difference. Mrs Warren, no doubt, has her merits; but she's ever so rowdy; and my mother simply wouldn't put up with her. So—hallo! [This exclamation is provoked by the reappearance of the clergyman, who comes out of the house in haste and dismay].
REV. S. Frank: Mrs Warren and her daughter are coming across the heath with Crofts: I saw them from the study windows. What am I to say about your mother?
FRANK. Stick on your hat and go out and say how delighted you are to see them; and that Frank's in the garden; and that mother and Bessie have been called to the bedside of a sick relative, and were ever so sorry they couldn't stop; and that you hope Mrs Warren slept well; and—and—say any blessed thing except the truth, and leave the rest to Providence.

Related Characters: Frank Gardner (speaker), Praed (speaker), Reverend Sam Gardner (speaker), Vivie Warren, Kitty Warren (Mrs. Warren), Mrs. Gardner
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mrs. Warren’s Profession PDF

Reverend Sam Gardner Character Timeline in Mrs. Warren’s Profession

The timeline below shows where the character Reverend Sam Gardner appears in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Author's Apology
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Another critic saw Reverend Gardner ’s character as an attack on religion. Instead, Shaw explains, the depiction of the clergyman... (full context)
Act 1
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...Praed goes into tea, but Frank remains behind to talk to the man—his father, the Reverend Samuel Gardner . Reverend Gardner was pushed into a career in the church by his own father.... (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...is taking the advice his father gave him last July after he paid his debts. Reverend Gardner says this advice was to improve his attitude on life and get a job. Frank... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...told him he offered a woman fifty pounds to return letters he had written her. Reverend Gardner fears that someone will overhear what Frank is saying. He says that he only told... (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
As Reverend Gardner is leaving, and Frank is moving to enter the cottage, Praed and Vivie come outside.... (full context)
Act 2
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Crofts and Reverend Gardner enter, talking about politics. Mrs. Warren asks them where Praed and Vivie are. Crofts says... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...will stay with the Gardners, but is indifferent to where Praed stays. Mrs. Warren asks Reverend Gardner to host Praed. Reverend Gardner inquires about Praed’s social position. Mrs. Warren says Praed is... (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...love being on a long walk on a summer night with Vivie. Crofts is offended. Reverend Gardner says that Frank must not think about Vivie romantically. He appeals for support to Mrs.... (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...Mrs. Warren surely won’t want Vivie to marry a penniless younger man. To Crofts’ satisfaction, Reverend Gardner confirms that his son has no money. Frank complains that Vivie should be allowed to... (full context)
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...a fool of himself. He asks Vivie how she thinks she will get along with Reverend Gardner . Vivie says she doesn’t think she will spend much time with any of her... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...write Mrs. Warren a check on the day of the wedding. Mrs. Warren expresses disgust. Reverend Gardner , Vivie, and Frank return from the kitchen, and an angry Crofts rushes outside. (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Reverend Gardner says he and Frank should be going, because his wife doesn’t know they have guests.... (full context)
Act 3
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Act III opens in the garden outside of the Rectory where Reverend Gardner is the clergyman. Frank is there reading a newspaper, when his father comes out looking... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Frank says that, although his mother and Praed got along very well, Reverend Gardner and Crofts sat up late drinking and telling shocking stories from their youths. Defending himself,... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Praed enters the garden. Reverend Gardner excuses himself to work on a sermon. After he is gone, Praed remarks how interesting... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Reverend Gardner rushes out of the house in a panic to say that he sees Mrs. Warren,... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
...says everyone should go see the church, and Crofts, Mrs. Warren, and Praed leave with Reverend Gardner to do so. Reverend Gardner insists that they go in through the church’s back entrance. (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
...Frank and Vivie. He says he wants to introduce Vivie to her half-brother Frank—Vivie is Reverend Gardner ’s oldest daughter and thus Frank’s half-sister. Crofts leaves. Frank raises the gun again to... (full context)
Act 4
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
With sarcasm, Vivie asks if this is the same love that Reverend Gardner felt for Mrs. Warren when they were young. Revolted at the comparison, Frank says that... (full context)