August 31, 2005

"Traction"

ELMORE: Shit. Won't be long before you curse my name.
BRANDON: Never. You believe in me. (Ramsey, “Traction”)

I found these two lines very ironic and foreshadowing for the rest of the play. The play has a religious theme to it, although the specific religion is never specified. Brandon seems to be the “Jesus” figure, complete with followers, when his statement about belief allows the audience a hint of Elmore’s future. After finishing the play, we know that Elmore does look into the wheel and, although he may not be completely convinced of Brandon’s power, he has faith enough to follow his fate seen in the wheel.

If the audience/reader sees religious connotation in this work, then these lines can also be found ironic. Jesus foretold that his disciples would betray him, which they did, but Jesus forgave them. Elmore’s comment about Brandon cursing his name is almost funny, if one considers Brandon to be Jesus; I suspect Jesus/Brandon would want to get angry about the lack of faith, but he remains calm and confident in Elmore’s forthcoming belief.


Posted by KatherineLambert at 04:18 PM | Comments (2)

August 20, 2005

Thoughts on Drama

In my attempt (key word attempt) to get ready for school, I'm reading some of my assignments in advance. I'm sure I'll still get behind on things, but at least it's something. Anyway, I've skipped ahead in the outline for "Drama as Literature" & read "The Importance of Being Earnest." It is such cute, quirky play! I saw it about 2 years ago when SHU's drama department put it on. It was a lovely performance & I enjoy and appreciate it more now that I have read the script.

I feel that drama & theater share several characteristics with poetry & cinema. First of all, reading a play by & to yourself is almost useless. I don't know about anyone else, but I know I have difficulty pretending to be several different characters all by myself. It's like having a conversation with yourself & where does that get you? Plays, like poetry, are meant to be read aloud; they both should be appreciated by the ears & not just the eyes. That's the purpose behind both of them. If drama is an imitation of real life, then it should be presented as real as possible: outloud. But just as important as hearing the dialogue, is seeing the interaction of the characters; plays are meant to be visual. The words need to be heard, but seeing the action on stage makes it a play rather than just a book.

Also, if I'm going to see a film based on a piece of literature, I always like to read the book beforehand. I like having an idea of the plot & basically being familiar with the plotline. And, yeah, ok, I'm always comparing the book with movie-which is better? Did the film really follow the book? How would I have adapted the text? I took a Shakespeare in Film class over the summer-I had no idea there were so many adaptations of Shakespeare's works & every took their own angle at the text; some film were strictly an adapation, while others were an interpreation. (We actually watched a 1957 black & white Japanese film based on Macbeth, Throne of Blood. Not the greatest film, but it shows the vast flexibility of movie makers worth looking into!) I guess on that note I should head off; I'm almost done with on of the other plays & I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about that.

Posted by KatherineLambert at 09:56 AM | Comments (1)

August 17, 2005

"Heart in the Ground" Response

KAREN: No, I was awake. I saw it. I know about farming. I've been doing it since I was twelve. Except for those two years. But I know about putting seeds in the ground. You put a seed in good, rich dirt, you can grow anything. (Hill,“Heart in the Ground”)

Karen states that she knows about putting seeds in the ground, but does that also apply to humans, specifically her baby? Karen is so determined to have Catherine buried on her farm that she is willing to battle both her husband and brother. Karen seems to feel that having her baby close to her, on her own land, will ease the pain of her loss; however, her simplified version on how to “grow anything” in addition to her unstable mind, leads me to believe that Karen thinks that by burying Catherine on the farm will bring her back to life. I don’t want to go as far as saying that Karen believes Catherine will rise from the dead, but Karen’s obsession implies that there is something more behind her grief.

I don’t believe Karen is “crazy,” but the death of her daughter and loss of her other child has definitely given her mind and sanity a jolt. As discussed in “Mourning Parents: Considering Safeguards and Their Relation to Health,” the death of a child is unnatural and disrupts the circle of life. Although Karen apparently has spent some time in a mental health facility before, I never got the feeling she was “nuts.” Yes, her ideas about the moon and corn seem like the talk of an unstable woman, but losing a child would push anyone to the edge.

After searching for connections between corn and the moon, I found several sites that discuss the importance of planting corn on specific days when the moon has a particular name or is in a particular position (Native American beliefs and the Farmers Almanac. Karen’s grief may have actually opened her mind to accept legends of nature that may be based on truths. This mother obviously is having difficulty with her pain, but I stand by the idea that she is not mad; she believes that burying her child near her or turning to Mother Nature will answer her questions and ease her pain. It’s satisfying to know that although her husband may not believe in her ideas, he cares enough to give in to her desire and grant her wish.

Posted by KatherineLambert at 08:12 PM | Comments (0)