John Galsworthy's Falder in "Justice": How does his Tragedy Prove Social Injustice?


John Galsworthy's Falder in Justice is not a hero in the Aristotalian or Shakespearen sense. The dramatic action of Justice by Galsworthy revolves around Falder. He is in the middle of our attention of sympathy and pity. He is the tragic hero and the victims of social injustice which we all resent. He is the character of a man who is in the machinery of social injustice.

A Young Man:

A young clerk of twenty three, Falder is pale, good looking soft spoken and nice. He is timid and nervous. He is in love to a married woman Ruth Honeywill. Ruth is in desperate situation, destined to live with her cruel husband. Falder gives her sincere love and tries to assuage her agonies. He gives her a dream of a new happy home with him. His love is a precious pledge and he is eager almost to build a happy home for Ruth. He is no dishonest but when he has no alternative but to forgery of cheque he sacrificed his honesty and integrity at the alter of this love for Ruth. Thus it is clear that he is even prepared to sacrifice his life for the happiness of the Ruth.

Good Natured:

In his office he is praised for his meekness and sincerity. Though he is accused to have committed for goes deliberately in a planed way, he is not such a guilty. As love is fanatically imbibed spirit he alters the counter foils of cheque he has forged.

A Broken Man:

As he is sentenced to penal servitude we find him in his solitary cell a broken man. Only for the sake of the love he is made to pay too heavy. The pitiful condition with which he is seen in the solitary cell, is enough for him to loss the faith in life. After the imprisonment when he is freed, he finds the world different. His sister abandons him. So at the office, but at least, he is given a chance to take his office.


 Falder, thus, unlike the hero in a classical tragedy, enjoys neither reputation nor ‘prosperity’. He is in fact, weakling who passionately loves a married woman and commits an act of forgery to save her from her tyrant husband. This is certainly his ‘error of judgement’ and he has to suffer both physically and mentally. He ultimately commits suicide. Thus, his tragic flaw brings about him.

Ardhendu De