Acceptable subject for the play Essay
Acceptable subject for the play
A taboo subject is a subject that people are embarrassed or find difficult to talk about. Death is a taboo subject because most people are scared of death and don’t want to about it. Usually, when people are talking about taboo subjects, they make it sound better than it is. This is called a euphemism. Lee Hall makes it acceptable in many ways. The first thing is that death is introduced very early on (the first page) so the audience won’t be surprised by it later on, “the poor lady who dies so well” “If I could ever grow up.
I would …….do the dying” Also death is introduced with the opera to make death seem beautiful and like an art. The opera is played at various points throughout the play to keep the theme of the staged and beautiful opera going. Spoonface thinks she understands death, “and the dying makes me so clear” which makes the audience feel better because she feels she knows what is happening but isn’t scared at all. She has a childlike attitude and isn’t embarrassed to talk about anything. She says everything exactly how it is so the audience know exactly what’s going on.
She doesn’t use euphemisms to make things sound better than they are, “I was backwards” “And now I was going to die”. The audience now know that spoonface knows she is going to die. Normally this could be quite upsetting for the audience because no one likes to hear about people dying but spoonface doesn’t seem to mind therefore the audience are made to believe that the fact spoonface is dying is not too important. Later on in the play, Spoonface, her mum and her dad find out that she can ‘do numbers’.
They think that she is a genius which is good because then there isn’t the feeling that Spoonface is extremely unfortunate and nothing ever goes right for her. The audience now know that Spoonface has got her own special thing that she is better at than most people which could make the audience less upset about her condition. Spoonface is not scared of death because she believes that when she dies, she will go to heaven as she believes in God, “God came and touched me on my head”.
This faith she has makes the death seem a lot less worse because the audience know she believes in life after death and spoonface doesn’t seem to mind about the fact she is dying. Because Spoonface doesn’t seem to mind dying, the audience could get mixed feelings. Either they feel better because she doesn’t mind dying or they feel worse because they think Spoonface doesn’t understand what dying is. When Spoonface goes into the hospital, Doctor Bernstein talks openly about the holocaust and concentration camps and spoonface interprets it into her own words quite graphically.
This puts Spoonfaces condition into perspective and sort of makes the audience feel more sympathetic towards Doctor Bernstein rather than having everyone focusing their attention on Spoonface. This doesn’t actually make death more bearable, it just gives the audience something tragic to think about to make Spoonface seem less unfortunate. Another thing is the slight humour of the play. It must have been a hard subject to put humour into but Lee Hall did this very well. An example of this humour is when Spoonface gives her list, “I was supposed to die…… and we had fish fingers.
” Spoonface thinks that having fish fingers for dinner is just as important as the fact she will die. Everyone knows that these two facts are not as important as each other and that having fish fingers is not really important at all. Because Spoonface thinks these things are of equal importance, the audience are led to think that death is not really important either. Lee Hall has written this play through the perspective of a naive child (Spoonface) so he can say whatever he wants and be as blunt as he wants. There are layers of meaning throughout the play because of Spoonfaces naivety.
At the end of the play, Spoonface talks about ‘the sparks’. This is her idea of the point of life and death. She believes it is her destiny to be the way she is and that she has found her ‘spark’ and that once you find the spark there isn’t any point in you being alive. The audience think that she has completed what she was put on the earth to do therefore she isn’t really needed. The final point is that after reading the play, the audience gain better awareness and understanding of the play and it may alter people’s perspective on life and could make more people be happy to be alive.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 July 2017
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