The Winslow Boy


Terence Rattigan

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Gramophone Symbol Analysis

Gramophone Symbol Icon

Dickie’s gramophone, a type of music player invented at the end of the 19th century, represents a generational shift between the more traditional mores of Arthur and Grace’s generation versus the looser, more progressive world of their children. In Act 1, Arthur accuses Dickie of shirking his studies and listening to his gramophone instead, much like contemporary parents might lament their children spending too much time playing video games instead of doing homework. Dickie insists that the gramophone helps him concentrate but is nevertheless made to take it upstairs—signaling Arthur’s continued authority over his son. Dickie wants to have fun in life, but Arthur is a stern patriarch. In Act 2, however, as Arthur’s health starts to deteriorate, the gramophone finds its way back downstairs, indicating that his physical weakness is matched by a small but significant decrease in his authority. More broadly, the represents the unavoidability of societal change as new generations come of age.

Gramophone Quotes in The Winslow Boy

The The Winslow Boy quotes below all refer to the symbol of Gramophone. 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:
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The Winslow Boy PDF

Gramophone Symbol Timeline in The Winslow Boy

The timeline below shows where the symbol Gramophone appears in The Winslow Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
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...working hard on his studies, but Grace and Arthur suspect him of listening to his gramophone and shirking his duties. Arthur warns that he won’t keep funding his place at university... (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 early ragtime. Dickie asks his sister if she thinks... (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 just been to visit. The... (full context)