Exploring the ways in which Brian Clark makes the scene an important and dramatic moment in the play When talking about the important and dramatic scene in this play I refer back to pages 25-30. These six pages are all about a little encounter between Ken and Mrs Boyle. This is a fundamental scene in the marvellous play because Ken finally expresses his motives and feelings. Brian Clark uses many techniques to give the reader this valuable information through repetition, the use of speech (quite obvious, could be expected), stage directions and the form of text (Carmen figurate but then for texts).
The stage direction supplies the reader with a lot of essential information. In the beginning just before Mrs Boyle enters the room Ken is supposedly happy. I know this because I quote; “(cheerfully), Doubt it Sister (pg. 25). I’m not even able to be death of myself. Because of he stage direction we can clearly see that Ken is in a positive mood. The interactions with Mrs Boyle start of with a friendly and respectful greeting to Ken, “Good Morning” (pg. 25). But through out this scene Ken changes his attitude and starts shouting and cursing.
The main reason why he was shouting is because Ken dislikes the professionalism that goes on in the hospital. He dislikes it to a certain extent when it can be called hate. In this important scene Ken has mentioned that he doesn’t want to live on anymore with these conditions of the body, as he only wants to live if he can live a normal life. And a normal life would include living healthily with out the help of medical instruments. Brian Clark has made Ken use a certain amount of sarcasm and partly rhetorical questions to portray Ken to the reader as he is.
The reader will most likely think that Ken Harrison is trying to outsmart people and sometimes he does achieve this. Such as; “What do you do? Conjuring tricks? Funny stories? Or a belly dance? If I have any choice, I’d prefer the belly dance. ” Mrs Boyle: I’m afraid I’ve left my bikini at home. Ken: Who said anything about a bikini? He thinks outside of the box. He repeats the same kind of jokes. This can be funny for the reader but for Mrs Boyle and the other hospital staff it might be annoying on the long-term aspect.
Also the joke about the ‘How to be a sculpture’ book is funny, but in the meantime its another moral definition. This joke tell us that one of his many reasons to die is because he cant do what he loves most, sculpturing. This is quite sad but you must think through each joke. Through out the whole play Clark portrays Ken as a sex addict who loves to flirt with the younger nurses but we (as a reader) find this ok because all have a weak spot for this funny paraplegic individual.
He insults Mrs Boyle and the hospital staff multiple times in this short scene. Many of these curses are religion related but this is most likely just because of when this was written. The early 90’s this was very usual. Ken says Christ almighty, for god’s sake and other things. He must express his feelings in some way and since he can only move his head and speak he chooses, since its his only option, to let out his anger via the mouth. These words are all aimed towards Mrs Boyle’s professionalism and detachment.
This makes Ken very angry and I understand his motives very well. His feelings are just being crushed and he feels ignored, so why continue living a life you don’t want to live? The main genre of this scene and play is the fight between personal choices versus professional opinions. The doctors claim the responsibility to keep him alive if he can (except for John, but he is not a “real” doctor). In conclusion Clark has successfully made this an important scene in the play. One of the main things was the moral of Ken’s actions.
Courtney from Study Moose
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