The Voice by V.S. Pritchett

The Voice by V.S. Pritchett
Q. Write the summary of The Voice by V.S. Pritchett.

The Voice by V.S. Pritchett

The story starts in a small English town after a bomb has hit. A group of people, including a policeman, gather around a church that the bomb has destroyed. The church, now in ruins, looks odd on the street, like a broken tooth.

The front wall and roof are gone, and even though much is destroyed, a board that used to show hymns is oddly untouched. Everyone feels the sadness in the air, and there is a smell of burnt cloth nearby. The crowd is quiet, waiting and watching the rescue teamwork.

Suddenly, they hear a man singing from under the church’s debris. This singing surprises everyone because the church is so severely damaged.

The story sets a scene of destruction and shock, but the singing brings a strange sense of hope and life to this sad situation. It is a strong start that grabs your attention and sets the mood for the rest of the story.

The Voice Emerges

As the rescue team works among the ruins of the bombed church, something unexpected happens. A voice starts to sing from beneath the broken bricks and twisted metal piles.

At first, it is hard to hear, but gradually, the tune becomes more precise and robust. The man trapped under the debris is singing a hymn, his voice rising from the wreckage. It surprises everyone around.

The singing is not weak or scary; it is full of strength and life. Motivated by the singing, two rescuers dig faster, shouting encouragement to the buried man. The voice grows even louder and more confident.

Everyone nearby stops to listen, amazed by the powerful singing from under the rubble. The rescue team leader signals for quiet so they can hear better.

The words of the hymn become clear, filling the air with a sense of defiance against the tragedy. This moment of a lone voice singing powerfully amidst devastation captures everyone’s attention and marks a significant point in the story.

Mr. Lewis’s Reflections

In the story, Mr. Lewis, covered in dust from the rescue, thinks about Mr. Morgan. He remembers Morgan as a priest who lost his position because of his controversial behaviour.

Despite this, Morgan still walks around in his religious clothes, which bothers Lewis. Lewis sees Morgan almost like a devil because of his past and arrogance.

He cannot understand why Morgan, who he thinks should be ashamed, still acts proudly and openly. Lewis feels a mix of dislike and mockery towards Morgan, seeing him as a negative influence and a symbol of hypocrisy in their community.

Rescue Efforts

The rescue team works hard to get to Mr. Morgan, who is trapped under the church’s rubble. His strong voice keeps singing, giving a sense of life amidst the destruction.

The situation becomes dangerous when the debris starts to move, making it risky for the rescuers. They have to stop and move back because it is too unstable briefly. Everyone is tense, realizing the danger but still determined to save Morgan.

The voice continues to be heard, showing Morgan’s resilience and urgency as the team navigates the precarious conditions to reach him.

Confrontation and Revelation

Rev. Lewis crawls through a tunnel to reach Mr. Morgan, who is trapped under the church. When they talk, Lewis’s view of Morgan starts to change. Morgan admits he hides in the church during air raids, showing he is scared and not as tough as he seems.

This honesty makes Lewis see a different side of Morgan from his public image. Morgan tells Lewis that he is afraid and feels old. This moment reveals Morgan’s vulnerability and fear, contrasting with his usual confident persona.

Hearing Morgan’s true feelings, Lewis begins to understand him better. This conversation shows Morgan’s more human and relatable side, challenging Lewis’s earlier negative opinions of him.

Climactic Moment

In the story’s climactic moment, the situation becomes very tense. The floor suddenly gives way while Rev. Lewis tries to rescue Mr. Morgan from the rubble. Lewis finds himself in a dangerous spot, hanging over a pit and fearing he will fall.

He calls out in panic for help. Nevertheless, unexpectedly, he falls only a short distance—just two feet. Lewis is relieved but still scared, lying there trying to catch his breath.

This scary and surprising moment adds drama to the story, showing the real danger they both are in. It also creates a moment of vulnerability for Lewis, highlighting the seriousness of their situation.

The story ends with a mix of seriousness and a small quantity of humour. Above the ground, the rescue team hears singing coming from Lewis and Morgan’s crypt.

They mistake it for a Welsh choir, which adds a lighter touch to the tense rescue scene. This moment contrasts with the intense effort to save Morgan and Lewis’s near-fall.

The ending shows different sides of human nature: the deep seriousness of a life-threatening situation and the ability to find lighter moments even in tough times.


  • Human Dualities
  • Forgiveness and Redemption
  • Resilience in Adversity
  • Judgment and Prejudice
  • Impact of War
  • Isolation
  • The Power of Song
Human Dualities

The story portrays characters, notably Mr. Morgan, as complex and multifaceted. Morgan, an unfrocked priest, displays both commendable and questionable traits.

His situation in the church, singing hymns while drinking alcohol, encapsulates this duality. The story suggests that people cannot be easily categorized as wholly good or bad but are a blend of both.

Forgiveness and Redemption

V.S. Pritchett shows the possibility of forgiveness and redemption. Despite Morgan’s past and his controversial standing in the community, the situation in the rubble is a chance for understanding and redemption, both for Morgan and Lewis. It suggests that people can change and be forgiven.

Resilience in Adversity

The act of singing while trapped under the rubble symbolizes human resilience. Despite the dire situation, Morgan’s voice represents the enduring human spirit that persists in adversity.

This theme highlights the strength and courage people often display during crises.

Judgment and Prejudice

Reverend Lewis’s initial views of Morgan are filled with judgment and prejudice based on Morgan’s past actions and current behaviour.

The story shows how these judgments can be challenged and changed when confronted with the human side of those they have prejudged.

Impact of War

The story’s setting in a town affected by bombing during a war subtly touches on the impact of war on individuals and communities. The bombed church, the rescue operations, and the overall mood reflect the disruption, loss, and trauma caused by war.


Morgan’s isolation under the rubble and his past actions that led to his social isolation are central to the story. The rescue operation brings a moment of connection, breaking through this isolation and highlighting the human need for connection and understanding.

The Power of Song

The motif of singing, especially in a dire situation, highlights the power of voice and song to express emotions, resilience, and humanity. Morgan’s singing becomes a symbol of hope and defiance against the bleak backdrop of the bombed church.