BA English Plays: Generation gap in the play ‘The Boy Comes Home’ by A.A. Milne

‘The Boy Comes Home’ is a comedy; but it has a very serious theme to convey to its readers. The play provides entertainment and a soothing message of change. There are two main characters in the play: Phillip and Uncle James. Phillip representing new order, modern values and will to act in a proper and reasonable manner and Uncle James represents old order, conservative viewpoint and unreasonable attitude with seeming strict outlook. With the passage of time,

the old values must give way to modern values. 

The two characters are as different as two poles apart. Philip is careless, irregular and warm while James is disciplined, strict and cold. Phillip is actually brave and he has proved that while James has seeming strictness, which passes as strength with the weak. He is a coward at heart. There is generation gap between Phillip and Uncle James; a difference of years which is difficult to reconcile until one of them decides to change him. This reconciliation is important as sane human beings to lead a reasonable life. As a result,

the change must fall to Uncle James who symbolizes old order. 

Uncle James, after the dream, changes himself according to the wills of the modern cult and the conflict between Philip and himself is resolved. Therefore, the play teaches us to be kind, forgiving and lenient with the youth of today. When the elderly adopt this fine posture, the youth are attracted to them and get reconciled with them. Otherwise, the hollow and strict discipline as maintained by James will further spoil the youth; not reform them.

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