(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

Since 1910, when this play was written, prison reforms have progressed considerably. The play is a protest against dehumanized institutionalism, with particular attention directed toward the evils of solitary confinement and the strict parole system. The problem of making a convicted man into a useful citizen once more is complex. Galsworthy thought rehabilitation likely only if all who came into contact with the man accepted their share of the responsibility.