Summary of Justice by John Galsworthy

Read this article to know about the Justice Summary by John Galsworthy.

A Brief Overview

-Hira Azhar

The play Justice by John Galsworthy deals with the issues of crime and punishment criticising the judicial system of the world where the rich always go scot free leaving the poor to rot in the prison.

Highlighting the incident of forgery where the culprit is put behind bars resulting in the triumph of justice, Galsworthy wants his readers to realise the circumstances under which the poor man decides to commit this illegal act; thus, persuading the audience to read and watch the play with a humanitarian eye instead of the eyes of the worldly law system.

Justice Summary

Revolving around the story of the poor clerk Falder and a miserable wife Ruth socially and sexually harassed by her husband, the play Justice throws light upon the misery and plight of the poor individuals of the society leading their lives like outcasts. Feeling for the helplessness of Ruth, Falder decides to take her out of her misery by forging a cheque in order to help the miserable wife.

He promises Ruth a happy and satisfied life away from all these troubles.  However, Falder is caught by his superiors and brought to the court where the judge finds him guilty of forgery and illicit relationship with a married woman; therefore, the jury decides to send Falder in a solitary confinement to spend the rest of his days there.

Even when Falder gets out of the prison, he never finds freedom in his life and thus embraces death to get rid of his troubles and worries.  Showing the apparent triumph of the justice and the judicial system in the play, Galsworthy wants his readers to ponder upon the terrible lives of Falder and Ruth that lead them to indulge in such unlawful acts.

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The playwright has shown the failure of the legal system which gives severe punishments to the poor without taking into regard the circumstances behind their crimes. The poor Falder is sentenced easily when he forges a cheque out of necessity but Ruth’s rich husband is never punished for harassing his wife. This double standard of the judicial system is highly criticised by the author which sympathizes with the rich and punish the poor and downtrodden.


John Galsworthy in his play Justice adopts a satirical tone to criticise the unfair practices of the judicial system which gives free hand to the upper class on their crimes and puts the wretched people behind the bars for their trivial illegal acts.

In the ironical title of the play, the playwright highlights a thought-provoking social issue of injustice in front of his audience and readers to persuade them to read and watch his play through a humanitarian lens to decide whether the judiciary proclaiming justice and equality for all or the poor men leading a miserable life is to be blamed for the crimes committed in the world?

Justice is a machine that, when someone has once given it the starting push, rolls on of itself.