Entertaining the troops

camels

Senior Member
Farsi
I am reading " The Ruffian on the Stair" by: Joe Orton. I was wondering what does Joyce mean by saying that " I thought you were entertaining the troops."

A summary of the story is: Mike,a devout Irish- Catholic thug for hire, has been supporting Joyce, a former prostitute, for two years.Their relationship is a simple one: uncomplicated and unromanticized. Wilson, a young “gentleman’ hairdresser” and happenstance houseguest, turns the simplicity on its head when he introduces jealousy, suspicion, terror, and revenge into the mix. This dialogue says by Joyce after Wilson and Mike had a long chat with each other, and now Mike thinks Joyce had an affair with that young boy, and is whispering some words to himself.

I would appreciate your help.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    During wars, famous people (movie stars, singers, etc.) would go to "entertain the troops" to keep up morale. Large stages would be set up and these famous people would tell jokes, sing, dance, etc. for large audiences of soldiers, sailors, airmen.

    In your story, are you sure that it's Joyce who says these words? Because Joyce is a former prostitute, I could understand Mike using the word "entertaining the troops" to mean that Joyce was prostituting herself again.
     

    camels

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    Thank you so much Dimcl. It was very informative.

    Yes, Joyce says this dialogue and Mike says in reply: " I leave that to you. That's more your line, isn't it?"

    Thanks again.
     
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