A lot to think about

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I really enjoyed the first half of this play. It seems to be a very fast moving and action packed story. I particularly like Henri's character. He seems like he is tired of problems in his life. By discussing the "awakening" that he experienced with his new wife, I feel that the audience gets the sense that Henri wants a fresh start. I feel that by his daughter Jeanine attempting suicide, he feels like he's failed as a father. To me, Arthur Miller makes the audience sympathize with Henri and want to give him have a second chance. He's following his heart. The quote that I feel really opens up our eyes to Henri is found on page 25.

HENRI: You know, when I saw him outside my window a very odd thought... exploded in my heart - that I hadn't actually been seeing anything... for most of my life. That I have lived half blind... to Jeanine, even to my former wife... I can't begin to explain it, Felix, but it's all left me with one idea that I can't shake off - it haunts me.

FELIX: What idea?

HENRI: That I could have loved. In my life.

I feel that the reason that we feel for Henri and even Emily rather than the other characters in the first half is because they seem to be the only logical ones. Crucifying a man, in the 21st century? This is insanity and the only ones who seem to realize this are Henri and Emily. Henri is making decisions and acting on his heart. He's letting something else control him instead of falling into the way that all the other "modern" minds are thinking. This gives him a distinct difference and leads us to believe that he will be a very integral character in the second half of this play.

The other thing that really made me think was the comparison between the spanish speaking terrorists in this play and the Muslim terrorists that we see everyday on the news. In this play, Miller does a very good job of giving us just enough information about the "terrorist" that leads us to believe that he is willing to die for his religion. This strikes a very similar issue with the middle-eastern religions worshipping Allah. How do you fight someone that will die for their religion? This play shows how people have DIFFERENT beliefs. I really emphasize the word different because it's not a matter of right or wrong. It's about loving something enough that you would die for it. I feel that Miller does a great job of introducing this issue and he makes us unconsiously think about it. I'm very eager to find out what happens in the second half.

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That's a good point about the insanity of a crucifixion in this day and age. Everyone seems to be totally understanding of it, some even going as far as to rationalize it. There is so much controversy over all the other forms of capitol punishment, that nailing someone to the cross just seems like a non-issue... and yet, it is very much an issue in this fictitious Spanish country!

I felt the same way about this play as you Andy. I really liked that line you quoted above, too, "That I could have loved. In my life." It made me pretty sad to think someone his age hadn't ever loved. I also thought this play moves at a fast pace. I think the action is going to get really crazy and I'm interested to see how this crucifixition is going to turn out!

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on April 6, 2006 11:02 PM.

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