After the boys leave, there is a knock on the door and it is Kate Doogan. Kate has come to say goodbye to Gar and makes it clear that she expected Gar to visit her to say goodbye.
Gar says that he is going to go to night school to study law or medicine, which shows he wants to impress Kate. It shows Gar is insecure about his lack of education and law and medicine represent Senator Doogan and Francis King.
When Gar asks how her husband is, she responds, “I hear no complaints.” This might suggest that Kate is not happy with her husband as they got married for security/convenience rather than love.
He also says that his plan is to come back in twenty years and buy up the village, again highlighting the insecurity about the lack of money he currently has. He tells Kate that he’ll come home, “driving a Cadillac and smoking cigars and taking movie films.”
Kate is trying to be nice to Gar but he throws it back in her face when he says, “If I had to spend another week in Ballybeg, I’d go off my bloody head…… I hate the place, and every stone, and every rock and every piece of heather around it!”
Kate, sensing that it’s time to leave says goodbye to Gar. Echoing the way Ned spoke to him in the previous scene, Gar says to her, “If you can’t be good-you know?” and then as she is leaving, shouts after her, “Be sure to call the first one after me.”
As Katie leaves, Private says, “Kate… sweet Katie Doogan…my darling Kathy Doogan.” This shows that Public was putting on a show of bravado to impress Kate and that he did not tell her his true feelings. He masks his hurt with bravado and false confidence and the fact that he speaks like Ned in this scene shows that Gar is not being himself.
Private starts to ramble, with thoughts flying through his head but Public finishes the act with the final line, “Screwballs, say something! Say something, father!
These are the last words in the act and show that Gar really wants to talk to his father.
- Do you think Kate is happy in her marriage? Explain your answer with reference to the text.
- Why do you think Gar acts the way he does in this scene? Explain.
- Why does Gar mention money so much in this scene? What does this say about him?
- Imagine you are Kate, write the diary entry you would write after leaving Gar’s house.