The Winslow Boy

by

Terence Rattigan

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Winslow Boy can help.

John’s Father/Colonel Watherstone Character Analysis

John’s father is a colonel in the army. John is dependent on his father for financial security and is evidently quite afraid of him. As a member of the military establishment, John’s father does not approve of the Winslow case and issues the ultimatum that either they drop it, or he will withdraw his support for John’s proposed marriage to Catherine. He never appears on stage, perhaps suggesting his air of distant authority, but his letter nevertheless plays an important role in the development of the plot.

John’s Father/Colonel Watherstone Quotes in The Winslow Boy

The The Winslow Boy quotes below are all either spoken by John’s Father/Colonel Watherstone or refer to John’s Father/Colonel Watherstone. 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

JOHN: The annoying thing was that I had a whole lot of neatly turned phrases ready for him and he wouldn’t let me use them.

CATHERINE: Such as?

JOHN: Oh – how proud and honoured I was by your acceptance of me, and how determined I was to make you a loyal and devoted husband – and to maintain you in the state to which you were accustomed – all that sort of thing. All very sincerely meant.

CATHERINE: Anything about loving me a little?

JOHN: That I thought we could take for granted. So did your father, incidentally.

Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

SIR ROBERT: What are my instructions, Miss Winslow?

CATHERINE: (In a flat voice.) Do you need my instructions, Sir Robert? Aren’t they already on the Petition? Doesn’t it say: Let Right be done?

Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Winslow Boy LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Winslow Boy PDF

John’s Father/Colonel Watherstone Character Timeline in The Winslow Boy

The timeline below shows where the character John’s Father/Colonel Watherstone appears in The Winslow Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...outlines his money situation: he’s in the army but depends on an allowance from his father, who is a colonel. Arthur says that the Winslows don’t have vast riches, but offers... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Catherine asks John what his own father, the Colonel, thinks about their proposed marriage. John’s father makes her uncomfortable: “he has a... (full context)
Act 2 
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...Catherine about her upcoming wedding. Catherine tells him that it’s been postponed again as John’s father is abroad for six months. She says that her and John have differences of opinion,... (full context)
Act 3
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Media and Spectacle Theme Icon
Catherine finishes the letter too, and tells Sir Robert that, contrary to what her father says, the case will go on. The letter is from John’s father, Colonel Watherstone. It... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
John brings up the letter from his father. Catherine says she’s read it, but John wants to know what Arthur’s response will be.... (full context)
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Catherine says that they can marry without his father’s approval, even if they won’t have much money. John clearly doesn’t think so: “Unlike you... (full context)
Principles and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...but she thinks he is now. She asks whether, assuming the case is dropped, John’s father will still grant his allowance. She apologizes, saying that she loves him and that she... (full context)
Act 4
Family Theme Icon
Women and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...so soon after their split because he thinks there’s going to be a war. John’s father also approves—the new woman is a general’s daughter. (full context)