What is the author's intention in "The Japanese Quince"?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Japanese Quince", John Galsworthy is pointing out the ideal of a same, well-ordered, and familiar life has alienated men from both the enjoyment and the beauty of the natural world. Both Mr. Nilson and Mr. Tandram are well-off English businessmen who have let their jobs take over their lives. While both look healthy and happy, Nilson suffers from "an aching feeling just below his fifth rib" and Tandram is totally alienated from his fellow man. He has been living next to Nilson for five years, yet the two have never even introduced themselves to each other. Their stilted conversation revolves around what kind of tree the quince is, instead of how beautiful it has become. They do not really even hear the bird singing in the background and when they leave, Galsworthy notes ,"the blackbird resumes its singing, "that queer sensation, that choky feeling in his throat" returns. This comment underscores both men's separation from nature and natural beauty.