The Winslow Boy

by

Terence Rattigan

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Desmond Curry Character Analysis

Desmond is the Winslow family’s hapless solicitor who is hopelessly in love with Catherine. Now forty-five, he used to be a successful cricket player but his athletic glory has long since faded. When Desmond learns of Catherine’s split from John, he hurriedly proposes to her even though he knows she will never love him.

Desmond Curry Quotes in The Winslow Boy

The The Winslow Boy quotes below are all either spoken by Desmond Curry or refer to Desmond Curry. 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:
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Nick Hern Books edition of The Winslow Boy published in 2000.
Act 4 Quotes

CATHERINE: You don’t think the work I’m doing at the W.S.A. is useful?

ARTHUR is silent.

You may be right. But it’s the only work I’m fitted for, all the same. (Pause.) No, Father. The choice is quite simple. Either I marry Desmond and settle down into quite a comfortable and not really useless existence – or I go on for the rest of my life earning two pounds a week in the service of a hopeless cause.

Related Characters: Catherine Winslow (speaker), Arthur Winslow, Desmond Curry
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Winslow Boy LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Winslow Boy PDF

Desmond Curry Character Timeline in The Winslow Boy

The timeline below shows where the character Desmond Curry appears in The Winslow Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Family Theme Icon
All of a sudden Desmond Curry, the family’s hapless solicitor, arrives at the house. At forty-five, Desmond has the body... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Catherine tries to break the awkward atmosphere by asking Desmond how his cricket match went the day before. Desmond congratulates the engaged couple—Violet told him... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...in bed. Arthur comes in, complaining about the state of the cellars. He, too, asks Desmond about his cricket match, telling him he should give up his “ridiculous games” and embrace... (full context)
Act 2 
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...doorbell rings. Catherine goes to get the door, thinking it will be John; instead, it’s Desmond Curry with Sir Robert Morton. Sir Robert is elegantly dressed and has a refined, formal... (full context)
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Desmond stresses how short Sir Robert is on time, so Catherine instructs Desmond to go upstairs... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...enters, clearly taken aback by the scene he walks into. Suddenly, Sir Robert turns to Desmond and calmly asks him if he can drop him off anywhere as he drives to... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
With an air of indifference, Sir Robert asks Desmond to drop off the materials relevant to Ronnie’s case at his office in the morning.... (full context)
Act 4
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Desmond Curry comes in through the garden door. He apologizes for arriving from the back of... (full context)
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Desmond says he has an urgent question for Catherine; he has a taxi waiting outside. She... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Desmond says they should examine two facts: one, that Catherine doesn’t love him and never will;... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...whom they agree is a strange and brilliant man. Once again, Catherine calls him “fishlike.” Desmond informs her of the secret that Sir Robert turned down the role of Lord Chief... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...fool; Arthur waits for her to say why, but she doesn’t. Then he asks what Desmond wanted. She says Desmond wanted to marry her. Arthur assumes that she didn’t accept; he... (full context)
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Catherine asks if it would be such “folly” to marry Desmond. Arthur thinks it would be lunacy. She says that he’s “nice” and that she is... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...but it’s the only work she’s fitted for. She believes she faces a choice: marry Desmond and be comfortable or go on being broke fighting for a “hopeless cause.” Arthur is... (full context)
Media and Spectacle Theme Icon
...He says the robes wouldn’t have suited him and angrily tells her he will have Desmond expelled from the Law Society. He asks her never to tell anyone what she knows. (full context)