John Boynton Priestley (1894 - 1984) is one of the outstanding English authors of today. His early books (1922-26) were of a critical nature. It was the success of his novel "The Good Companions" (1929) which brought him world fame. In early thirties Priestley began his work as a dramatist. "Dangerous Corner" (1932) — one of the series of Seven Time Plays — was his first effort in dramatic art. Priestley's other most famous novels are "They Walk in the City", "Angel Pavement", "Wonder Hero", "Far Away". "Let the People Sing". "Bright Day" and many others.
The text under analysis is an extract from the play “Dangerous corner”. It tells about several men and women, who have just heard a wireless play and started a discussion about such notions as truth and lie. As the conversation develops one of the characters, Robert, realizes he’s not able to bear the truth and after telling everybody a number of awful facts he shoots himself.
Speaking about the idea of the text under analysis, one should say that the play describes a very difficult situation in one’s life. It describes the moment, which is characterized by the necessity to face some difficulties or facts. However, the latter can be not only pleasant, but awful as well, and then the whole situation turns out to be a “life” examination. This is what the whole play and the title especially unveils.
It turns out that only Robert is sure truth has always to be said, the rest come to think that people are likely to lie and often they do so undeliberately. Here we observe the problem of the play – the author assumes mankind applies lies uncautiously and this causes lots of handicaps and troubles in life. People forget that keeping falsehood as a habit is considered as bad manners. The neat comparison of truth with the sleeping dog gives the play excitement and vividness. Indeed, when letting the truth out we can do more harm to ourselves, sometimes not comparable with the lie.