General English


  • noun violent public arguments and disorder


  • (written as Strife)
    A play by the British writer John Galsworthy (1867 - 1933).It was first performed in 1909 in London and revived regularly forthe next 25 years. In the play Galsworthy presents the obstinacy andsuffering on both sides of a prolonged industrial dispute.

    Set at the turn of the century, the play shows how a Welshvillage is torn apart by the strike at the Trenartha Tin Plate Works.John Anthony, the company founder and chairman of the board, refusesto compromise with the strikers despite great financial losses. Onthe other side David Roberts, the firebrand head of the Workman'sCommittee, refuses to yield even though the employees' families aresuffering. The strike becomes a personal struggle between the twomen. Roberts's wife dies of malnutrition, and Anthony's son triesin vain to convince his father to relent. The workers finally accepta compromise worked out by their negotiator, Simon Harness, whileRoberts is absent and the board of directors agrees, outvoting andousting Anthony. The two broken enemies finally acknowledge theirrespect for each other, and the play ends with a conversation betweenHarness and the board's Henry Tench.

    TENCH D'you know, Sir, those terms, they're thevery same we drew up together, you and I, and put to both sides beforethe fight began? All this - all this - and - andwhat for?
    HARNESS That's where the fun comes in!