Kashmir University Study Material (Notes) of GENERAL ENGLISH for BG 5th Semester Students, download here


Stay updated with us, Join our Whatsapp Group or Telegram Channel for Notifications, Results, Datesheets, Study Material & Much More
Join Whatsapp Group Join Telegram channel


The play ‗Mother‘s Day‘ written by J.B. Priestley is a hilarious drawing room comedy which reveals the practical experience and status of Annie Pearson, a devoted wife and doting mother, whose efforts are ignored by her family.


This humorous play portrays the status of a woman in her household. The playwright brings out the plight of a wife, who is also a mother, very realistically in the play. Mrs. Annie Pearson is not treated well by her husband and children. With the help of her neighbour Mrs. Fitzgerald‘s magic spell which temporarily allows both the women to interchange their personalities, she stands up for her rights. Mrs. Annie Pearson‘s family is shocked at the change, but they learn to behave properly with her so that she gets the respect that she deserves.


Mrs. Fitzgerald: Mrs. Fitzgerald is Mrs. Pearson‘s neighbour. She is quite strong-willed, experienced and a smart woman. She knows magic which she has learned from the east and has a strong and sinister personality. She is heavy, has a deep voice and speaks in Irish accent. She is liberated, strong, dominant and bold. She also smokes and plays cards. Mrs. Fitzgerald is a domineering lady who believes in equal status of a mother in a family. She is very angry to hear about the way Mrs. Pearson’s family treats her and decides to put an end to it. She convinces Mrs.Pearson to exchange their personalities, so that she can discipline the latter‘s family members in the person of Mrs. Pearson. She is able to handle Doris, Cyril and George quite intelligently and can be called a well meaning tyrant.

Annie Pearson: Mrs. Pearson appears to be a meek, timid, confused and nervous type of woman in her forties. She is a devoted wife and a doting mother whose unconditional but excessive love and care has spoilt her husband and two children. She is ignored and made to work throughout the day. In spite of the ill treatment, neglect and exploitation by her family members, she loves them all. Although she feels sad about the neglect and ill treatment that she suffers, she endures everything uncomplainingly. We feel sympathetic towards her and wish her to be a little more assertive. However, she undergoes transformation in her personality with Mrs. Fitzgerald‘s help and becomes more assertive towards the end of the play.

Doris Pearson: Doris Pearson is Mrs. Annie Pearson‘s pretty daughter in her early twenties. She looks pleasant but is rude and spoilt. She makes her mother run after her all the time and gives orders to her as if her mother is the servant of the house. Rather than helping her mother in the household work, Doris asks her to iron her yellow silk dress. She expects tea to be served to her and is insensitive towards her mother‘s troubles. She is highly irritated to find her mother

sitting with the cards, smoking and apparently enjoying herself. She goes out on dates with Charles Spence and expects her mother to support her meekly. She is surprised and hurt beyond measure on hearing her mother criticize her boyfriend but at last she learns not to take her mother for granted.

Cyril Pearson: Cyril Pearson is Mrs. Annie Pearson‘s son who is the masculine counterpart of Doris and is equally demanding like his sister. He is in the habit of taking his mother for granted and very casually asks her if the tea is ready. When Mrs. Pearson says ‘no’, he angrily answers back. He considers his work very important and believes that he deserves to enjoy his evenings. He makes his mother run all the time doing one thing or the other for him. Like Doris, Cyril is also in different and insensitive towards his mother and never sympathizes with her. He expects his mother to be at his beck and call and is terribly shocked to see her transformed. He rudely calls his neighbour Mrs. Fitzgerald ‗silly old bag, but gets severely rebuked by his transformed mother. He ultimately learns to behave properly with his mother and give her the respect that she deserves.

George Pearson: George Pearson is Annie Pearson‘s proud and spoilt husband who thinks highly of himself. He is about fifty years old. He is fundamentally decent but solemn, self-important, pompous, heavy, and slow-moving type man. He is an indifferent husband who is predominantly concerned about his own comfort, ease, and happiness. He spends most of his free time at the club,hanging around with his friends and playing snooker. Quite ironically, his friends make fun of him,calling him Pompy-ompy Pearson because they think he is so slow and pompous. He is shocked at his wife‘s defiant behaviour. He is unable to understand how his erstwhile docile wife has become so critical and strict with him. Mrs. Fitzgerald‘s soul in Mrs. Pearson‘s body succeeds in bringing George back on track. At the end we find him a changed husband who starts caring for his wife.


Through the play, the playwright J.B. Priestley wants to convey a message that everyone should respect, care, and help the lady of the house for all the hardships she does for her family.


Mrs. Pearson-A Disappointed Woman

Mrs. Pearson is very fond of her family and works day and night to support her family members in the best possible manner. However, she is upset at the way she is being treated on a daily basis by her husband and children who are disrespectful towards her and show disregard for her. They live a busy social life and relegate her to the position of a domestic help. She is treated as a slave in her own home. This creates a sense of frustration and discontentment in Mrs. Pearson who wants some appreciation and reciprocation from her family

Mrs. Pearson Shares Her Problem with Mrs. Fitzgerald Mrs. Pearson‘s life takes a twist when Mrs. Fitzgerald who is a fortune teller and a magician, moves into her neighbourhood. Soon the two become close friends. Mrs. Pearson confides in Mrs.Fitzgerald and candidly discusses her family matters and the terrible behaviour of her family members with her.

Mrs. Fitzgerald Works out a Plan Mrs. Fitzgerald, a strong and sinister personality, devises a plan to rectify the ways of the Pearson rofamily. She recommends Mrs. Pearson to exchange her personality with hers. Mrs. Fitzgerald, in Mrs. Pearson‘s body, would teach a tough and much-needed lesson in gratitude and humility to the Pearson family. At first, Mrs. Pearson, docile as she is, doesn‘t agree but after some encouragement, she is won over and agrees to exchange her personality with Mrs. Fitzgerald‘s.

Exchange of Personalities

After that, Mrs. Fitzgerald casts a spell and swaps her personality with Mrs. Pearson. In a matter of seconds, their personalities get exchanged and Mrs. Pearson, who was calm and composed earlier, can now be seen smoking and drinking and Mrs. Fitzgerald can be seen sitting poised and inactive.

Doris Gets a Shock

Mrs. Fitzgerald is in Mrs. Pearson‘s house and in Mrs. Pearson‘s body. Mrs. Pearson‘s daughter Doris, a pretty girl in her early twenties, enters. Doris is the first to face the cool and incisive mother. She hands her mother a dress and asks her to iron it as she has to go on a date with her boyfriend Charlie Spence. She is astounded on seeing her mother smoking and playing cards alone and objects to it. Mrs. Pearson replies in a very harsh manner and advises her to do her work herself. Further, she makes fun of Charlie Spence who she says has projecting teeth and behaves stupidly. She even remarks that at her age she would have found someone better than Charlie Spence. Doris feels miserable at her mother‘s curt behaviour and leaves the place, weeping.

Cyril Gets a Shock

After this, her son Cyril enters the house and asks his mother hurriedly if the tea is ready, to which Mrs. Pearson refuses and tells him that she has not bothered to get it ready. She even advises him to prepare it himself. Cyril asks her if everything is all right with her. She replies that she has never felt better in her life. When Cyril enquires why she has not got the tea ready, Mrs. Pearson replies that she wanted a change and that‘s why she has not bothered to make the tea.

Cyril announces that he is short of time, so she should immediately get the tea ready for him. Cyril further enquires whether she has got his clothes ready. When she says no, he gets anguished. He asks his mother what will happen if they all begin to talk the way she has been talking that day. Mrs. Pearson coldly replies that all three of them have always talked to her like that, so there is nothing wrong with her talking in the same tone. She adds that she has become a member of the Union so that she gets what she deserves. Shocked at his mother‘s cold dismissal and seeing his sister crying, Cyril raises his voice, only to face a raging mother. 

The Argument between Doris and Mrs. Pearson Doris appears on the scene wearing a shoulder wrap. Mrs. Pearson remarks sarcastically about her dress. An argument starts between Doris and Mrs. Pearson. Doris comments that if she is looking awful, it is due to her mother only, who has made her cry. Then Mrs. Pearson enquires if any strong beer is left. Cyril is shocked to know that his mother wants to drink. He is unable to understand what is going on in the house.

Discussion between Doris and Cyril

When Mrs. Pearson leaves for the kitchen to fetch some stout for herself, the children who are shocked at her behaviour, wonder what has happened to her. Doris feels that their mother has got hit on her head by something. She also tells Cyril that the manner in which mother spoke has hurt her the most and made her cry. The children begin to giggle at the thought of what would happen if mother would show such weird behaviour in front of their father.

Mrs. Pearson’s Remarks about Her Family

Mrs. Pearson chides the children and asks them to behave like grown-ups. Doris who is tearful again, asks her mother if they have done something wrong which has led to a change in her behaviour. Mrs. Pearson then tells them that it is actually the children‘s and their father‘s behaviour that has disturbed her. They always come and go without bothering about her. They demand duties from her. Though she does her best to keep everyone happy, nobody is bothered about her. She remarks that while the three of them do a job of forty hours a week with two days off at the weekend, she goes on working round the clock for seven days. She proclaims that she would do some work on Saturday and Sunday only if she is thanked for everything. When the kids talk about being exhausted after work, she makes it very clear to both of them that they will have to work equally. She even refuses to work on weekends as she would be enjoying with her friends from now onwards.

Mrs. Fitzgerald’s Encounter with George

At this point, George Pearson, a solemn, self-important and pompous looking man about fifty,enters the

house. He notices Doris in tears and is bewildered on seeing his wife drinking and smoking. He tells Mrs. Pearson that he would have supper at the club and that he does not want tea. Mrs. Pearson informs him that there is no tea. He gets annoyed to which Mrs. Pearson says that if he does not want tea why he is fighting for it. She also wryly responds to his disgust on seeing her drinking by saying that if he can drink, so can she. Mr. Pearson is flabbergasted at such a conduct of his wife who continues to rebuke him by asking him why he goes to the club when he is a laughing stock for everyone out there and is teasingly called Pompy – ompy Pearson by his club companions. George is stunned and demands the truth from his son. Cyril gets upset at his mother yet confirms the truth told by his mother, which leaves George dumbfounded, disappointed and hurt. Mrs. Pearson then tells her son that sometimes it does people good to have their feelings hurt.

The Real Mrs. Pearson Returns

Mrs. Fitzgerald who is actually Mrs. Pearson, is at the door and Cyril calls her a silly, old hag, hearing which Mrs. Pearson instructs him to mind his language. Mrs. Pearson who has been turned into Mrs. Fitzgerald, is shocked to see Doris in tears and when George shouts at his wife, she threatens to slap his big, fat and silly face. The real Mrs. Pearson is disturbed by the manner in which her husband and children are treated and talks to Mrs. Fitzgerald in private. She asks Mrs. Fitzgerald to stop insulting her family. Mrs. Fitzgerald doesn‘t let her speak until she teaches all of them a good lesson in respect and honor. As a parting advice, she asks Mrs. Pearson to be strict in her looks and tone and not to be too soft on her family again. Soon they get back into their original bodies. 


Q1. Why was Mrs. Pearson so worried?

Ans. Mrs. Pearson was severely isolated and frequently humiliated by her own children, Doris and Cyril. Even her husband George turned a blind eye to her and loved to spend time with his friends at the club. She loved her family a lot and worked selflessly round the clock for them, meeting their daily needs. The behavior of her children and husband made her sad, depressed and worried.

Q2. What was the proposal given by Mrs. Fitzgerald to Mrs. Pearson? How did she react to it?

Ans. When Mrs. Fitzgerald got to know about the insensitive behavior of Mrs. Pearson‘s children and husband towards her, she got furious and angry. She proposed to teach all of them a good lesson by swapping her personality with Mrs. Pearson‘s through a magic trick. Mrs. Pearson initially refused the proposal as she didn‘t want her family to be troubled but ultimately gave in and agreed. 

Q3. What happened when Mrs. Pearson swapped her personality with Mrs. Fitzgerald?

Ans. After a lot of persuasion, Mrs. Pearson agreed to the proposal given by her neighbor, Mrs. Fitzgerald about exchanging the personalities. Having exchanged the personality with Mrs. Fitzgerald, Mrs. Pearson started smoking and drinking, whereas Mrs. Fitzgerald sat calmly on the other side .They had the same bodies but altogether different personalities.

Q4. Why was Doris angry with her mother? How did Mrs. Pearson react to it?

Ans. Doris had planned to meet Charlie Spence and wanted to wear a yellow dress which was not ironed by her mother so far. Therefore, she started shouting at her mother but was taken aback when Mrs. Pearson responded to her in the same tone.

Q5. Why was Cyril astonished? How did he make fun of Mrs. Fitzgerald?

Ans. Cyril was astonished to see his mother smoking and ceaselessly asking for stout. He had never seen his mother behave so strangely. Unable to do anything, he called Mrs. Fitzgerald ‗silly old bag from next door‘ when the latter entered but he was rebuked severely for that by his mother.

Q6. What piece of advice does Mrs. Fitzgerald give to her neighbor for managing her family?

Ans. Mrs. Fitzgerald who is furious at the behavior of Mrs. Pearson‘s children advises Mrs. Pearson to stop running after them, taking their orders and behaving like a slave. She should show them their places and refuse to cater to them anymore.

Q7. How does Mrs. Pearson give a shock to George?

Ans. When George starts putting up questions on Mrs. Pearson‘s smoking and drinking, she makes him aware of his reality. She tells him straight, without mincing words, how he is ridiculed at the club by the members of the club whom he considers his friends. Besides, when he insults Mrs.Pearson, the latter even threatens to slap his big face and asks him to keep quiet.

Q8. What new rules are set up by Mrs. Pearson for her family?

Ans. Having taught all the family members a good lesson, Mrs. Pearson makes her own set of rules for her family. She says that everyone, including her, would work for 40 hours a week. Moreover, she declares that she would have holidays at weekends and that she would enjoy partying with her friends.

Q9. Compare and contrast the personalities of Mrs. Fitzgerald and Mrs. Pearson?

Ans. The two ladies are sharply contrasted. Mrs. Pearson is a pleasant but worried looking woman in her forties. She speaks in light and flurried sort of tone with a touch of suburban Cockney. Mrs. Fitzgerald is older, heavier and has a strong personality. She has a deep voice and speaks in a rather Irish tone. She also drinks and smokes.

Q10. What are the issues that the play ‗Mother‘s Day‘ raises?

Ans. The play ‗Mother‘s Day‘ is a comical satire. The story is a simple one but it throws light upon crucial and common life issues. The first and foremost concern is the plight of a woman in her household. She works laboriously turning her house into home but receives no wages and has no weekends off. She is never appreciated and accounted for. In the story the major complaint of Mrs. Pearson is that her family does not spend time with her. The author has tried to highlight the fact that a woman feels lonely when the members of her family do not pay attention to her. She also yearns for their company and wishes to spend time with her loved ones. The lesson also tries to figure out the reason a woman‘s efforts are overlooked by her family members, which is that she never boasts about what she does and doesn‘t ask for anything in return. She doesn‘t even speak up for the respect she deserves just because she does not want to make her family members realize their insensitivity. The lesson also makes us understand how precious mothers and wives are and how they deserve a lot more than what is given to them.

Q11. Is drama a good medium for conveying a social message? Discuss.

Ans. Drama or theatre is a perfect medium to convey a social message to the society and has a substantial effect on the minds of people due to its visual impact. Thus, if a social message that holds lot of significance is brought to life through drama, it holds immense potential for bringing a positive change in society. The play ‗Mother‘s Day‘ makes the viewers or readers hear what is unsaid, feel what is not explicitly mentioned and conclude what is right or wrong, on their own. Through the play, the playwright brings out the plight of Mrs. Pearson who is treated like a doormat in her own house by her husband and children. Through the events that happen in the play, they ultimately learn to behave properly with Mrs. Pearson so that she gets the respect that she deserves. There is also a lesson for all of us to learn that everyone should respect, care, and help the lady of the house for all the hardships she does for her family. This is the power of drama. Hence, drama can be considered a medium good enough for conveying a social message.

Q12. Write a note on the title of the play ‗Mother‘s Day‘.

Ans. The title of the play is quite appropriate. It sums up the theme of the play. It suggests that the action of the play revolves around a mother. The playwright confronts us at the outset with the problems the mother Mrs. Pearson faces from her grown up children, Doris and Cyril as well as their father, George Pearson. The novel technique employed to tackle the spoilt children and the husband is quite amusing and thought provoking. The bold and dominating mother who is actually Mrs. Fitzgerald in the body of Mrs

Pearson, acts tough with the children and makes them realize the need of proper attention towards her. They are made to learn a lesson in courtesy and polite behavior not only towards the mother but also towards the visiting neighbor. The mother certainly has her day as the children learn to treat her properly. The supper being prepared by the children, their stay at home and the family game of rummy is a rare gift that the mother receives on this important day.

Q13. ―The shock treatment makes the thoughtless and selfish persons realize the real position of the lady of the house.‖ How far do you agree with the statement? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans. The above statement is correct. Drastic situations need drastic remedies. The thoughtless, selfish and spoilt members of the Pearson family do not understand the language of love and affection. Mrs. Pearson with Mrs. Fitzgerald‘s bold and dominating personality and toughness makes Mrs. Pearson‘s family members realize their mistake. Doris is the first one to learn her lesson in civility and politeness. The criticism of her boy friend seems quite unexpected to her—perhaps more than the non-compliance of her orders of ironing the yellow silk dress. Doris has tearful eyes. Cyril is also told to help himself. The mother‘s declaration that she, too, would henceforth work forty hours a week, have the weekends off and go somewhere to enjoy herself, come as a shock treatment. The balloon of her husband‘s ego is punctured by disclosing to him how people at the club make fun of him. In the end all the three members come round and show their willingness to obey the mother‘s command. Thus tables are turned and Mrs. Pearson‘ shusband and children show a respectful behavior towards her.

Q14. Comment on the ending of the play ‗Mother‘s Day‘.

Ans. The play has a happy ending with a complete reversal of the initial situation. Mrs. Pearson is now cheerful while the family looks anxiously at her. When she smiles, they feel much relieved and smile back at her. None of them intends to leave her and go out. For the first time, perhaps she tells the members of the family what they should do. Instead of behaving timidly, she looks sharply at the family and asks if they have any objections. George is the first one to yield. He agrees to do whatever she says. Still smiling, she suggests that they should have a nice family game of rummy and then the children could get the supper ready while she has a talk with their father. George supports her and looks enquiringly at the children. Cyril hastily approves the proposal and Doris also agrees, though hesitatingly. Mrs. Pearson bids good bye to Mrs. Fitzgerald and smilingly asks her to come again soon. Thus the play has a happy ending. It also gives us a message that everyone should respect, care, and help the lady of the house for all the hardships she does for her family. 

DOWNLOAD PDF : Click here

For latest Jobs Alerts, Scholarships updates and Education news from J&K. Subscribe us on YouTube, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter and Join our Whatsapp Group or Telegram Channel and never miss an update.


Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)