From banqueting halls in medieval castles to the dining rooms in modern homes people have set aside at least one room in their dwellings to entertain guests. Dining rooms are used to discuss important matters over dinner and for families to spend a portion of their daily time together as a family unit. The Berlings’ dining room is portrayed as a comfortable place to be in a family scene.People always feel the need to give a good impression so what better place to make memorable than the room of elaborate meals and family get-togethers. After all, the one thing that everyone remembers best, even after seeing the most fantastic things on a holiday, is the food. It could almost become a saying that if the food and the room setting are good the host will be remembered.These aspects have obviously been applied to the Berling’s dining room. The most important contents are: a solid wood table with chairs as the dining table; comfortable seats covered with various throws not far from the dining table; a chandelier hung from the ceiling; a ‘candle-stick’ telephone and a variety of alcoholic drinks in decanters displayed on a trolley.
All these features indicate that some care has been used in decorating this room. The most obvious and expensive of these is the chandelier that provides the reflective and crystal-like lighting. Something of this cost would be remembered and helps to project wealth. The owner of such a dï¿½cor could be complimented for it being an extravagant item in the house or for adding a classical touch to the ambience of the dining room.
The second most important feature is the drinks in the decanters. At least one of them most probably contains wine, as this has been the most popular drink with meals since the days of the Romans. A suitable wine for the occasion and meal shows good taste especially if the origin is considered exquisite. Some examples that would fit this description include the French Chardonnay, the Spanish Cava Brut and the Port from Portugal on which Mr Birling prides himself.
The decanters are a perfect way to present such symbolic beverages as they add to the luxury of the atmosphere created by the alcohol. They are stood on a trolley which means that they are portable at least around the ground floor of the house. Other furnishings, such as the table cloth and the throws, are used to protect and compliment what they cover.
They are not completely necessary, but add to the authenticity of the dining room.The telephone is a fairly modern invention for the 1910s as it was invented in 1876. The ‘candle stick’ telephone, which was used in this production, was expensive and also decorative. It is there purely for the convenience of contacting people, but creates the impression that the owner of it is educated, wealthy and up-to-date with the stylish inventions of the time.
As with this essay, one usually comments on the ornaments and pleasantries before the more practical features whose absence would not go unnoticed. These are the wallpaper and carpet. The carpet is a sensible instalment for Britain’s cold winters whereas the wallpaper and the additional oak panelling are purely presentational and very Victorian. They show that people are always reminiscent of the past beneath their stylish views and embellishments.Overall the dining room is portrayed as Victorian but with several contemporary adjustments to 1912. It depicts the owner as one who prides himself on charming his guests into a pleasant stay or to simply enjoy his company in an elegant dinner.
A socialist, however, would only give credit to the owner for hiring able servants and for marrying a wife with good taste.