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November 12, 2005

A Change of Heart

Did you ever have a very strong opinion on an issue, and then something happens that makes you change it? Well, I have. It happened to me when I went to see the Seton Hill University production of "Kindertransport." The production was an excellent, and the actors and actresses did a great job of portraying their characters.

Just by chance, the night before I saw the play, I wrote a paper discussing the relationship between the characters, Faith and Evelyn, and how Catholic Social Teaching was incorporated. My thesis was, "Faith and Evelyn disagree on whether or not truth about the past is important in determining one’s identity. Faith was stopped from reaching her full potential by not knowing the truth about her past."

I wrote this paper just upon the knowledge of reading the play. I had very strong opinions in that Faith was deprived from really reaching her full potential in life. I talked about how Evelyln is just running away from her past. There was no need for her not to live with Helga once she finally got out of Germany. I thought that it was immorale to abandon her mother when she was on her own, out of Germany. I really enjoyed reading the play because I could related to it. It seemed as if Evelyn was trying to force Faith to live the life that she did, and she wasn't giving Faith an opportunity to be her own person. Evelyn even said, "Stay my little girl forever."

What's amazing though is that after watching the play performed on stage, my opinion on the whole situation totally changed. I felt that Lil was actually the protagonist. And young Eva, changed to become the antagonist when she let her mother go to America without her. i got the impression that yes, Faith was deprived from reaching her full potential, but how about Eva? Did she just go through all she did for the heck of it? Didn't it account for anything? All her pain and suffering is what led to her being anxious all the time. My image of Faith changed as well. I saw her in the performance as very self-centered. I had sort of a frustration with her during the performance, rather than the sympathy that I had as I read it.

I also saw a similar type of relationship between Faith and Evelyn, with Evelyn and Lil. Lil really is the hero of this play. One big difference between Lil and Evelyn is the way that they treated their daughters. When Faith got upset with Evelyn, Evelyn reacted by getting an uneasy feeling, and not talking. However, near the end of the play, when Evelyn started getting frustrated with Lil, Lil simply did not back down. She kept reinforcing the idea that she was there for Evelyn her whole life, and she was always going to be there for her.

EVELYN Part of me is dead because of you.
LIL Nothing you can say is going to make me walk out that door.

These lines really hit me hard in the performance. As I read the play myself, they didn't have much impact on me, however seeing the real reactions of people on stage really changed my perspective. As much as I feel like I keep changing my mind, it was a great experience to see how the same words can be understood so differently, just be being written down or spoken. I know from now on, I'm going to keep aon open mind about everything!

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at November 12, 2005 12:18 PM

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