Saved Summary and Analysis of Part 4


Len and Pam get into a little argument, with Pam accusing Len of sitting on her magazine. Pam mentions that Fred is coming home next week, but his mother won't let him in the house, implying that he's coming to stay with them. "'E ain' 'avin' my room," Len says. When Len questions Pam more and more about it, it becomes clear that Fred has made no indication that he wants to be with her.

Pam tells Len that he's not wanted at the house and he ought to leave, blaming him for their troubles. When she asks Harry why he doesn't turn Len out, Harry says that Len pays rent. Pam and Len continue to fight viciously.

Scene 9. Len is in the living room cleaning his shoes, when Mary comes in in a slip. She apologizes for wearing so little clothing, but Len hints that he does not mind. They talk about the fact that Mary thinks Pam could have gotten 200 pounds for the pram, but instead she only got 50 quid. Mary is going to the movies with a friend, and they talk while she gets ready.

As they talk, Mary encourages Len to bring girls home sometimes. "I don't mind what goes on, yer know that. As long as yer keep the noise down," she says, adding, "It's in every man. It 'as t' come out." She suggests that when she was young, they had to wait for marriage, but it's better now that sex is out in the open. They quickly begin talking more suggestively, and Len invites Mary up to visit him the next time he's having a bath.

Suddenly, Mary catches her stocking and it tears. Len threads a needle and Mary asks him to sew it. He drops the needle, but eventually finds it. Harry comes in and sees them, but doesn't say anything. When Harry goes back out, Len tells Mary to stay home, but she says she has to go out with her friend, Mrs. Lee.

Scene 10. At a cafe, Len and Pam are sitting at a table. They are waiting for Fred, but Pam wants Len to go before Fred gets there. When Pam moves to another table, Len gets up and gets a cup of tea for her. Suddenly, a door opens, and Mike, Colin, Peter, Barry, Fred, and Liz all come in. The typical lewd conversation ensues. Liz, Fred's new girlfriend, keeps asking him what it was like in jail.

Pam tries to convince Fred to come and stay with her, but he refuses, continuing to make jokes with Liz and Berry.


One constant in the play is Pam's desire for Fred, in spite of the fact that he is neglectful and has no interest in her. Even after their baby has died and he has gone to jail, and he neglects to respond to a single one of her letters, she is sure that he is going to come and live with her and be her boyfriend. Pam suffers from a kind of delusion about Fred, and the fact that he treats her badly only seems to entice her more.

Perhaps the only thing more sure and steadfast than Pam's affection for the abusive Fred is Len's affection for Pam. No matter how much she doesn't want him around and how much she explicitly says as much, he remains in her house, asking her about what she's up to and hoping that she'll come back to him. Both of them are in a chain of delusion that has been brought on by unrequited love, and it creates a relentlessly combative dynamic.

In the midst of the repetition of the dynamics between Fred and Pam and Pam and Len, a peculiar connection emerges between Mary and Len. They share a rather sweet and also sexually charged interaction while Len is polishing his shoes and Mary is preparing for a night out at the movies. As the subject turns to sex, Mary takes a maternal role, telling Len that he ought to bring girls home and that as his landlady she doesn't mind. Soon enough, however, she leads the conversation into more suggestive territory, and they talk more directly about Len's sexual proclivities.

Nothing changes once Fred is out of jail. He maintains his irreverent attitude about life, and so do his friends, seemingly lacking any remorse for their horrifying and violent deed. In spite of Pam's aggressive angling to be with him, he does not give her any attention, and only humiliates her when she tries to force herself into his life. Even after the intense events in the park, the characters remain the same and their relationships do not change.

The play stages desperation in both unflinching and subtle ways. Each character is desperate in a different way; Len is desperate to feel belonging and to win over Pam, Pam is desperate for Fred's attention, Fred is desperate for freedom, and Mary is desperate to feel a sense of control as the head of her household. These characters are imprisoned by their desires, because they do not have any promise of coming true. Thus, we see working-class Londoners desires turn to abject and persistent desperation.