Sexual inequality

The title itself sarcastically conveys the playwright’s view of men of the time whose shameful behaviour towards their stalwart women was a disgrace, despite their shared experience of poverty, unemployment and shame.

A 1930s bride, sitting beside a bucket, holding a mop and brushes
Women were expected to take care of the home

The title appears to appeal to these men to look afresh at the position adopted by the women of the home in keeping morale and domestic routine together. At various points, especially towards the conclusions of conflicts in the play, John Morrison reflects on the injustice of the situation he finds himself in.

His hand-wringing and despair is contrasted with the solidity and resilience of his wife Maggie who rarely collapses into self-pity. By the end of the play, it is Maggie and not John who is standing strong.

The title perhaps invites male audiences to think on the reasons for their self-pity, and to act to overcome it.

The play certainly does not sentimentalise or romanticise poverty but instead provides us with a realistic interpretation of the destruction poverty does to the lives of people.