Episode II

Episode II opens a short time afterwards, with Gar still in his bedroom. He checks the documents he needs for his journey.

Flashback to aunt Lizzy

The action flashes back again to a visit from Gar’s aunt Lizzy and her husband Con.

Overwhelmed by a variety of emotional forces, Gar agrees to go to live with them in Philadelphia.

However, when we are brought back to the present Private admits that he doesn’t really want to go.

Gar leaves the house and S.B. enters from the shop to read his newspaper.

Madge is frustrated at S.B.

Madge loses patience with S.B. about his inflexible nightly routine and how busy she is. But we can see that her frustration really stems from S.B.’s inability or unwillingness to acknowledge that his son is emigrating.

When Madge finishes her rant and leaves the room we notice that S.B. has been reading his newspaper upside down - a sign he may be thinking more about Gar leaving than he is letting on.

The boys visit

Gar returns with his friends - "the boys" - whom he has met coming to say goodbye to him. There is much loud talk about the number of girls they attract, but it is obvious from Private’s commentary that the boys lie and exaggerate.

Although the only show of real friendship is when Ned presents his belt to Gar as a leaving present, the scene does close on a nostalgic note.

When the boys leave Private begins a frustrated tirade about his friends. But his monologue ends poignantly, reflecting that the memories he is left with will be “precious, precious gold”.

Kate visits

This scene is followed by a visit from Kate. She too has come to say goodbye.

Gar’s resentful attitude causes her to leave awkwardly and Gar “buries his face in his hands”.

Private’s disjointed monologue builds up to Public’s final words in this episode. In a “whispered shout” he cries, “Screwballs, say something! Say something, father!”

This outburst suggests that Gar is desperate for his father to acknowledge his departure.