The Winslow Boy

by

Terence Rattigan

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Grace is the flighty mother of the Winslow family who simply wants a nice life. She doesn’t understand why Arthur is willing to sacrifice their living standards just to win a case that, after all, is being fought over a five-shilling postal order. As the case progresses, though, the spectacle draws Grace in. By the end of the play she is intoxicated by the size of the crowds and self-consciously chooses her outfits for any public appearance. Importantly, she’s not as weak as she might seem. It’s subtly presented, but Grace is shown to be a caring character that treats Ronnie with kindness and looks after Arthur as his health deteriorates. Her main conflict is with Catherine—she can’t get on board with her daughter’s “new woman” attitude and its principles of feminism and equality. She sees herself as more a “traditional” home-keeper, and believes Catherine’s way of thinking is “unwomanly.”

Grace Winslow Quotes in The Winslow Boy

The The Winslow Boy quotes below are all either spoken by Grace Winslow or refer to Grace 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

GRACE: You’re such a funny girl. You never show your feelings much, do you? You don’t behave as if you were in love.

CATHERINE: How does one behave as if one is in love?

ARTHUR: One doesn’t read Len Rogers. One reads Byron.

CATHERINE: I do both.

ARTHUR: An odd combination.

CATHERINE: A satisfying one.

Related Characters: Arthur Winslow (speaker), Grace Winslow (speaker), Catherine Winslow (speaker)
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

ARTHUR: I know exactly what I’m doing, Grace. I’m going to publish my son’s innocence before the world, and for that end I am not prepared to weigh the cost.

GRACE: But the cost may be out of all proportion –

ARTHUR: It may be. That doesn’t concern me. I hate heroics, Grace. An injustice has been done. I am going to set it right, and there is no sacrifice in the world I am not prepared to make in order to do so.

Related Characters: Arthur Winslow (speaker), Grace Winslow (speaker), Ronnie Winslow, Sir Robert Morton
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Winslow Boy LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Winslow Boy PDF

Grace Winslow Character Timeline in The Winslow Boy

The timeline below shows where the character Grace Winslow appears in The Winslow Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
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...of the Winslow family enters the room, discussing the priest who led the church service. Grace, Ronnie’s mother whose prettiness is beginning to fade, says he was “inaudible.” Arthur, a sixty-something... (full context)
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Dickie claims to have been working hard on his studies, but Grace and Arthur suspect him of listening to his gramophone and shirking his duties. Arthur warns... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Grace asks Catherine what she’s reading—it’s an autobiography by Len Rogers, a prominent leader of a... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Grace thinks Catherine “doesn’t behave as if she were in love.” Arthur puts forward the idea... (full context)
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...to discuss his potential marriage to Catherine with Arthur (the meeting has been arranged by Grace). Catherine and Grace go to hide in the dining room while the two men talk.... (full context)
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Catherine and Grace emerge from the dining room. Grace offers her congratulations to Catherine and John; Arthur goes... (full context)
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...asking if he’s in trouble. Catherine instructs Dickie to wait with Ronnie while she gets Grace. (full context)
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Grace rushes into the room and embraces Ronnie, who starts crying. She agrees not to tell... (full context)
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Grace enters again and tells Catherine that Ronnie is now upstairs in bed. Arthur comes in,... (full context)
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...couple of days, but she says she’s seen him with her own eyes. Arthur asks Grace what’s going on—she fearfully explains that the family thought it best Arthur didn’t know about... (full context)
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...it quickly dawns on him that there must be a problem with the Naval College. Grace timidly presents Ronnie’s expulsion letter, which Arthur makes her read out. The letter explains that... (full context)
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Arthur tells Violet to fetch Ronnie from upstairs. Grace protests that he is in bed, but Arthur insists on seeing him immediately. Arthur makes... (full context)
Act 2 
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 Ronnie and Grace enter, clearly in high spirits. Ronnie excitedly tells Arthur that he has grown an inch... (full context)
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 Posing with Ronnie, Arthur explains to Grace about Miss Barnes. Grace and Miss Barnes discuss the curtains. Ronnie is excited to be... (full context)
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 The doctor left ointment for Arthur’s back, instructing him to have four massages a day. Grace says he should have one now, to which he grudgingly agrees. She says it’s stupid... (full context)
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Grace goes upstairs to attend to Ronnie and prepare Arthur’s ointment. Arthur turns wearily to Catherine,... (full context)
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Arthur and Grace come down. Arthur introduces himself to Sir Robert and tells him that Ronnie will be... (full context)
Act 3
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...Arthur is sitting in his favorite armchair, reading about the case—it’s headline news. Ronnie and Grace are listening; Ronnie is struggling to stay awake, while Grace is darning socks. (full context)
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Grace thinks her “poor sleepy little lamb,” Ronnie, should go to bed. But Arthur says that... (full context)
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Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Grace puts a rug over Ronnie. Arthur says to her that he thinks this is a... (full context)
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...it’s best they let Violet go and explain that it’s too expensive to keep her. Grace is hesitant because Violet was never properly trained as a maid, so even with a... (full context)
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In reference to the financial figures, Arthur says “facts are brutal things.” Grace says, a little hysterically, that she doesn’t know what facts are anymore. Arthur says that... (full context)
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...innocence before the world, and for that he is “not prepared to way the cost.” Grace believes the cost may be out of proportion, but that doesn’t concern Arthur: “An injustice... (full context)
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Grace reacts angrily, pointing out that Ronnie doesn’t even care about the case—he’s happy at his... (full context)
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Grace continues her attack on Arthur. She says that Ronnie won’t thank him for the case... (full context)
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Grace breaks down, and Arthur puts his arm around her. Ronnie wakes up a little, asking... (full context)
Act 4
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...He's wearing a neat suit with a tie and a stiff collar. He shouts for Grace, and receiving no reply also shouts for Violet. (full context)
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Dickie puts the phone down, which immediately starts ringing again. Grace comes in and greets Dickie, complimenting his new suit. According to Grace, the phone hasn’t... (full context)
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...he told the reporter on the phone that he thinks Ronnie is guilty, much to Grace’s momentary horror. He asks her how it’s been going. She says she’s been in the... (full context)
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Grace calls Arthur in from the garden for lunch. Dickie asks if there will be room... (full context)
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Dickie asks how Ronnie did as a witness. Grace says that Ronnie—“the poor little pet”—felt that two days being examined by the Attorney-General (the... (full context)
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...asks how Kate (Catherine) is; he has heard that John has broken off their engagement. Grace responds you can never tell with Catherine—“she never lets you know what she is feeling.” (full context)
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Arthur comes in through the garden door, walking badly. Grace tells him off for coming up the stairs by himself. Arthur gets into a wheelchair... (full context)
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The telephone rings again. Arthur picks it up and immediately puts it down. Grace says that he shouldn’t do that as it annoys the exchange. Arthur complains that Catherine... (full context)
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Arthur asks Grace if his lunch is ready. She’s made him salad as the cook and Violet are... (full context)
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...goes into the dining room; Dickie closes the door after him. With concern, Dickie asks Grace about Arthur’s health. She informs him that Arthur has promised to go into a nursing... (full context)
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Dickie offers his sympathies to Grace. She says Arthur doesn’t care what she thinks and never has, but that she’s given... (full context)
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...She says it’s because there was such a huge crowd both inside and outside the court—Grace seems pleased to hear the crowd is even bigger than the day before. (full context)
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Catherine says she saw John in court—Grace is horrified and hopes Catherine didn’t speak to him. But John had wished Catherine good... (full context)
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Grace and Dickie leave for court. Arthur asks Catherine if they are going to lose—they both... (full context)
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Arthur tells Catherine that he is bequeathing everything to her and Grace. There’s still a “little left” of his money, he says. He asks if she has... (full context)
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Arthur says that maybe they’ve just been stubborn—that’s what Grace thinks. Catherine agrees that it’s a possibility. But perhaps stubbornness isn’t “such a bad quality... (full context)