The Dear Departed Summary

The Dear Departed – Short Summary

The aim is to explain the Dear Departed Class 10 Summary. The Dear Departed essay is the drama by Stanley Haughton. In this drama, the poet has used so many devices and equipment, to criticise and denounce human characteristics. In this, he also uses the combination of dramatic irony and sarcasm and simultaneously speech and some humour with a twist to condemn the human traits.


Besides, the characters and virtues in the story tale two – dimensional, and there is no improvement. This enables us to glance through the characters to understand and interpret their actions. In this short play, Haughton manages and tends to portray irony and sarcasm in various ways. Firstly, the title is ironic and satire in itself. It illustrates that the Departed, Abel Merryweather, was not one bit Dear and valuable to them. All the sisters cared about was the money or valuables he owned.


The Dear Departed – Summary

‘The Dear Departed’ depicts the hollow relationship among a family. The story shows how in today’s world everything is governed by selfishness and greediness. It shows how two daughters are only concerned about their father’s material possession. The play is a satire on the bonds among modern day families.


Mrs. Slater asks her daughter Victoria to not go out in the street to play when her grandfather is lying ‘dead’. She also tells her to change her dress before her aunt Elizabeth and uncle Ben arrive in the house. She informs her that they are coming to talk about grandpa and everything that has happened.


She says to her husband Henry that they must look better than her sister Elizabeth and her husband Ben in the mourning dress. Henry is not sure if they will come or not. But she argues that Elizabeth will come at once after her share from their father’s possessions.


She asks Henry to wear grandfather’s new slippers so that it looks like Hendry is the owner of the slippers and they will not have to divide them. She tells him how she always wanted to have grandfather’s bureau under her possession  after his death. When Henry says that Elizabeth will not allow this to happen, Mrs. Slater suggests that they could put the old chest of drawers at the place of the bureau and nobody will know about this besides them. Elizabeth could have the old chest of drawers as her share. So she asks Henry to help bring down the bureau along with grandfather’s clock. She asks her daughter Victoria to close the door and inform her immediately if her aunt arrives. Victoria doesn’t like such behaviour of her mother at all.


Before Elizabeth and Ben’s arrival, Mrs. Slater has already brought down the bureau and taken the clock. Now Mrs. Jordan and her husband enter. Mrs. Jordan instantly says that finally grandfather has been dead. She also says that they couldn’t come early as they had been waiting for their mourning dresses. She asks her sister what the doctor said about grandfather.


Mrs. Slater tells her that Dr. Pringle was sent for but he was out of town. When Mrs. Jordan said that it was a fatal mistake referring to her grandfather’s death, Mrs. Slater does not approve and both start quarreling on how grandfather should have been taken care of. Mrs. Slater tells her that father had been very happy that morning. He had gone to pay his insurance. She further said that he must have gone to ‘Ring-O’-Bells’ after paying the insurance.


Mrs. Slater further told them that she went to offer him food to eat. She then put the tray down on the ‘bureau’. She then corrected herself quickly and said ‘on the chest of drawers’. She asked if her sister would visit their father. But she preferred to go after having tea.


Now Mrs. Slater and Mrs. Jordan discuss how to announce their father’s death in the press. Mrs. Jordan suggests reciting a poem but Mrs. Slater says it will be expensive. Then they come to talk about dividing jewellery and other things. Mrs. Jordan tells that father promised to give his gold watch to jimmy. This amazes Mrs. Slater. Ben seems more concerned about father’s insurance money. Victoria tells them  that grandpa didn’t go to pay his insurance that day. Mrs. Slater doubts that father must have visited Ring-O-Bells instead of the insurance office.


At this, Ben calls father a ‘drunken old beggar’. Mrs. Slater is furious because she kept him for three years with her. Mrs. Jordan is even more furious and accuses him saying she kept him for five years. Mrs. Slater asks to check if the insurance receipt is in the bureau. Then both the sisters start fighting over the bureau.


After some time, Victoria informs everyone that grandpa is getting up. Everyone is surprised because they thought he was dead. Father Abel asks the reason for his kids’ arrival. He is irritated because no one responds to this. Mrs. Jordan asks if he is well. Abel sees Henry is wearing his slippers and is agitated by it. He asks them why they are wearing mourning dress. Victoria is very happy that her grandfather is not dead.


Grandpa again asks who’s dead and why is everyone wearing mourning dress. Mrs. Slater lies, saying Ben’s brother is dead. Mrs. Slater also offers him some pie to eat. Grandpa tells everyone he was tired and was sleeping since morning. Then his gaze falls upon the bureau and asks why it has been taken from his bedroom. Then he also sees his clock. Both of his daughters start arguing about this and he is watching them confused. Mrs. Jordan tells him that he was thought to be dead and accuses Mrs. Slater and Henry for stealing his things


Now grandpa Abel has understood everything. He understood that his possessions were being divided. Henry asks him about his will. He tells them that the will is in the bureau. Mrs. Slater requests him not to be hard on her. Grandpa tells that he shall make a new Will leaving all his things to whomever will take care of him until his death.


Now both the sisters want him to stay with them. But Mrs. Slater says that Mrs. Jordan has had enough time with father. Grandfather Abel tells them that they have mistreated him in the past and they should not be very proud of it. Ben suggests to him that he should live with one of his daughters.


But he has other plans. He tells them that on next monday he is going to do three things. First is to go to the lawyer and change his will. Second is to pay the insurance premium. Third is to marry Mrs. John Shorrocks, the owner of ‘Ring-O-Bells’. He then thanks Mrs. Slater for bringing the bureau downstairs. It would be easy to carry it from there.



Summary of the Chapter the Dear Departed focuses on the moral values which everyone should learn. It depicts that nowadays, the value of money is far more than human emotions. The book further shows how family values are decreasing in society. Materialism has affected the modern life of ordinary people that even the Father and daughter’s respectful relationship is also tainted with it. The play highlights the aspects of the matched craftsmen by wonderfully absorbing the ordering of the scenes. 


The poetic end of the story is real of the playwright. And Abel’s reply to his selfish and careless daughter leaves them stunned. They left regretfully, and we’re feeling guilty for what they have done to his father for their selfishness of them. The Summary of the Dear Departed Chapter ends like this.


The Dear Departed Summary also brings the harsh reality of the family. When it comes to money, they gave more importance to money than the father. All this just die the love of a family and a father-daughter. The absence of moral values in the family leads to a lack of responsibility in the kids. This is the reality of the modern family; sometimes they didn’t care about family and gave importance to money or things.


This happens because of moral values. If they have not learned the moral and ethics in the family; sometimes, children go against their family. This play also depicts the same thing that Alen didn’t know about his selfish daughters, and after learning the truth, he decided to live alone with his newly married wife, who he can trust for life. This shows the reality of family when it comes to morality and money.


So, kids must learn the moral values of the family and respect every person with dignity. The most important thing is that the children learn to respect and love their family and it’s the family’s responsibility to teach their children good moral values to make them strong enough to choose between right and wrong things.

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