The Winslow Boy

by

Terence Rattigan

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Dickie is Ronnie’s older brother who at the play’s beginning is an undergraduate at Oxford. His father, Arthur, suspects him of shirking his studies and being distracted by his gramophone. He’s the most carefree, fun-loving character of the Winslow household. But unfortunately for Dickie, it’s these characteristics that make Arthur withdraw his financial support for Oxford when he needs more money to fight the case. Dickie feels that Ronnie is favored over him and at one point vents his frustration, saying he could “just murder” his brother. Overall, though, Dickie comes across as generally supportive of his brother and family. After being forced to quit Oxford, he takes a job at a bank in Reading, before enlisting in the volunteer army. He has heard there might be “a bit of a scrap” on the horizon and doesn’t want to miss out, obviously without the knowledge of the horrors that World War 1 will bring.

Dickie Winslow Quotes in The Winslow Boy

The The Winslow Boy quotes below are all either spoken by Dickie Winslow or refer to Dickie Winslow. 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 1 Quotes

Ronnie’s the good little boy, I’m the bad little boy. You’ve just stuck a couple of labels on us that nothing on earth is ever going to change.

Related Characters: Dickie Winslow (speaker), Ronnie Winslow, Arthur Winslow
Related Symbols: Gramophone
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

DICKIE: Who’s going to break the news to him eventually? I mean, someone’ll have to.

CATHERINE: Don’t let’s worry about that now.

DICKIE: Well, you can count me out. In fact, I don’t want to be within a thousand miles of that explosion.

Related Characters: Catherine Winslow (speaker), Dickie Winslow (speaker), Ronnie Winslow
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2  Quotes

I wish I had someone to take me out. In your new feminist world do you suppose women will be allowed to do some of the paying?

Related Characters: Dickie Winslow (speaker), Catherine Winslow
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:

DICKIE: Suppress your opinions. Men don’t like ‘em in their lady friends, even if they agree with ‘em. And if they don’t – it’s fatal. Pretend to be half-witted, then he’ll adore you.

CATHERINE: I know. I do, sometimes, and then I forget. Still, you needn’t worry. If there’s ever a clash between what I believe and what I feel, there’s not much doubt about which will win.

Related Characters: Catherine Winslow (speaker), Dickie Winslow (speaker), John Watherstone
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

My gosh, I could just about murder that little brother of mine. What’s he have to go about pinching postal orders for? And why the hell does he have to get himself nabbed doing it?

Related Characters: Dickie Winslow (speaker), Ronnie Winslow, Arthur Winslow
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Winslow Boy LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Winslow Boy PDF

Dickie Winslow Character Timeline in The Winslow Boy

The timeline below shows where the character Dickie Winslow appears in The Winslow Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Family Theme Icon
...Arthur, a sixty-something man and clearly the imposing head of the family, defends the priest. Dickie, Ronnie’s gregarious older brother, mocks the priest for his slowness. Much to Dickie’s bemusement, Arthur... (full context)
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Dickie claims to have been working hard on his studies, but Grace and Arthur suspect him... (full context)
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Dickie re-enters the room, nonplussed to see Ronnie home early from Naval College. He greets Ronnie... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
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Dickie talks with Ronnie, learning that Ronnie has been expelled from college. When Ronnie tells him... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...and embraces Ronnie, who starts crying. She agrees not to tell Arthur anything yet, and Dickie goes upstairs to stop his father from coming down. As he departs, he asks who... (full context)
Act 2 
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It’s nine months later. Dickie and Catherine are in the living room. Dickie’s gramophone, back downstairs again, is playing some... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Dickie praises the dress Catherine is wearing; she’s about to go out on a date with... (full context)
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Media and Spectacle Theme Icon
Violet comes in with a copy of The Star newspaper. She asks Dickie and Catherine not to throw it away when they’re done, so that she and the... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Media and Spectacle Theme Icon
Catherine flicks to the letters page of the paper, with Dickie watching attentively over her shoulder. She reads the first letter, which offers support for “the... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
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Media and Spectacle Theme Icon
Dickie says, a little guiltily, that he can kind of see the point of the second... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
As they dance, Dickie asks Catherine about her upcoming wedding. Catherine tells him that it’s been postponed again as... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Dickie tells Catherine that she should “suppress” her opinions: “Men don’t like ‘em in their lady... (full context)
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Arthur enters, walking with difficulty. Dickie hastily switches off the gramophone. Dickie asks Arthur what the doctor said, who has evidently... (full context)
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Catherine leaves the room, and Arthur goes over to Dickie, staring at him intently. Arthur asks Dickie to answer a question for him truthfully: what... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Arthur tells Dickie that he’s no longer able to pay for “such a gamble.” Dickie will have to... (full context)
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...Arthur knows that it is a journalist who has come to see him. He asks Dickie if they can continue their conversation another time. Arthur then asks how Dickie’s love interest,... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
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Arthur leaves the room as Dickie comes in. Dickie vents his frustration to Catherine at having to leave Oxford. He says... (full context)
Act 4
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Media and Spectacle Theme Icon
...June and has been almost two years since Ronnie was expelled. The telephone rings incessantly. Dickie enters the room, looking hot and flustered. He's wearing a neat suit with a tie... (full context)
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Media and Spectacle Theme Icon
With nobody around, Dickie picks up the phone. It’s a journalist from the Daily Mail, who quizzes Dickie about... (full context)
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Dickie puts the phone down, which immediately starts ringing again. Grace comes in and greets Dickie,... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
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Dickie jokingly pretends that he told the reporter on the phone that he thinks Ronnie is... (full context)
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Grace calls Arthur in from the garden for lunch. Dickie asks if there will be room for him at the court. Grace says yes, and... (full context)
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Dickie asks how Ronnie did as a witness. Grace says that Ronnie—“the poor little pet”—felt that... (full context)
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Dickie asks how Kate (Catherine) is; he has heard that John has broken off their engagement.... (full context)
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...for coming up the stairs by himself. Arthur gets into a wheelchair and apologizes to Dickie for his new and “ludicrous form of propulsion.” Arthur tells Dickie that he has heard... (full context)
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Arthur has also heard that Dickie has joined the volunteer reserve force of the British Army. Dickie says it’s because he’s... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...is ready. She’s made him salad as the cook and Violet are at the trial. Dickie says he thought Violet was going to be dismissed, but Grace says neither she nor... (full context)
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Arthur goes into the dining room; Dickie closes the door after him. With concern, Dickie asks Grace about Arthur’s health. She informs... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Dickie offers his sympathies to Grace. She says Arthur doesn’t care what she thinks and never... (full context)
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Catherine comes in, complaining of the heat and the reporters outside. She hugs Dickie, and says she thinks the judge is against the Winslows. According to her, Sir Robert... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Grace and Dickie leave for court. Arthur asks Catherine if they are going to lose—they both know it’s... (full context)