A Mother And A.Father.Married To.Other People Watching A Movie Sir Tom Stoppard, the Early Plays – Enter a Free Man

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Sir Tom Stoppard, the Early Plays – Enter a Free Man

Sir Tom Stoppard, The Early Plays

3. Enter a free person

Sir Tom Stoppard’s play Enter a Free Man (originally called A Walk on the Water, made for TV, 1963) is a more complex play built on the simple foundations of A Separate Peace (1960). The main difference is that Enter a Free Man’s George Riley, who has a wife and daughter, has a commitment to a social group. Therefore, he did not choose to leave the company to the extent that Brown exists, but when he chooses to work for a wage, the individual’s responsibility to others is more immediate and concrete.

Another important difference is that Riley takes on an active role, of an inventor, while Brown did not want to do anything and nothing was expected of him; Even his painting was ‘just to please Matron really’ (p. 14). Riley has assumed responsibility for himself as well as his family, so he can fail, while Brown, in his passive isolation, escapes the possibility of failure. In fact, Riley is a failure, both as a family man and as an inventor, and it is this fact that creates the tension of the play, because it forces us to consider that his actions may be justified in principle even if they fail. practice.

George Reilly’s positive side is his independent creative spirit. It represents the freedom of. The individual must use his own mind and act according to his own principles.

“They gave me a mind and I use it. I don’t go through life as if it’s a public escalator that has nothing to do but watch the swimsuits go by.’ (p. 48)

He finds the normal routine of life meaningless and pointless, and has the courage to follow his creative directives despite the ridicule and indifference of those around him.

“One must resist. A person must stand apart, make a clean break on his own. Faith is the key – faith in oneself’. (p. 16)

In terms of general principles, his ideas are quite sound; Invent a product useful in everyday life, create a prototype in his workshop, then form a partnership to go into the business of manufacturing the product. But he is quite detached from reality, his inventions always have a flaw that he did not foresee. His thinking makes sense, but at the expense of common sense and practicality. He doesn’t realize that his future partner is only mocking him, and he avoids the guilt he should feel about being financially dependent on his daughter by believing that he will soon be worth millions from his inventions. He lives in his own world.

By making George so self-aware, Stoppard avoids having his ‘hero’ live up to his responsibilities, or the guilt he should feel for neglecting them. All opposition to George comes from his daughter Linda, who points out his inadequacy,

“If he was honest, he would come down and say that I decided that some people are disconnected to make a living and there are people who decide to lie in bed, and I’m the bed type.” (p. 60.)

This splitting of the subject into two characters, one ‘for’ and one ‘against’ is typical of Stoppard’s technique. He said that he writes plays as a means of contradicting himself (see Bigsby: Tom Stoppard: Writers and Their Work p. 24), and his plays are often structured around a kind of dialectical process expressed by Moon in Stoppard’s novel, Malquist and Mr. Moon (1966):

“I don’t trust positions, he continued, because they claim to have appropriated all the truth and pretend to be absolute. And I don’t trust the opposite approach for the same reason. . . When someone disagrees with you on a moral point you assume they are one step behind in their thinking, and they assume they have gone one step forward. But I take both parts, O’Hara jumps myself along the big moral issues, refuting myself and refuting the refutation towards a truth that must be a connection of two opposite half-truths. And you never get to it because there’s always more to say. But I can’t give it up.’ (p. 53.)

Enter a Free Man ends on a note of compromise and re-establishment of harmony. George and Linda both make failed attempts to escape the situation by leaving the house, and then understand each other better when they return. George takes steps towards coming to terms with reality by deciding to go on the job exchange, and Linda becomes more tolerant of his “eccentricities”. George’s wife has always tolerated his strange behavior without expecting him to succeed, in fact she married him because he was ‘different’, and she defends him as an individual, from Linda’s attack on his social status.

“There are many people like your father who are different. Some make more money because they are different. And some do nothing because they are different’. (p. 57)

“If he’s going to be a failure after all, it’s better for him to fail at something he wanted to succeed at.” He caught some enthusiasm. It was worth a lot.’ (p. 59)

It is worth noting that in his first two plays, Stoppard gives equal weight to human relations and the subject being examined. John Brown and Nurse Maggie form an affectionate relationship, and at the end of the play she is as reluctant to allow him to leave the hospital as she was to allow him to enter at the beginning. And in Enter a Free Man, a lot of time is spent on the home life of the Rileys, showing how the father in a parasitic role causes tension and argument between the mother and daughter.

This aspect of the play is not very successful, Linda and Persephone are not convincing characters; Their behavior is ‘wooden’ because Stoppard is more interested in them as speakers for and against George than as characters in their own right. At this early stage in his career, Stoppard seems to have realized that his talents are not suited to portraying characters and relationships.

The same is true of his novel Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon (1966) in which the characters are completely flat, being representative of stereotypical lifestyles. The relationship of John and Maggie, or George and Linda/Persephone, in which a couple exists together in a fluctuating state of affection, misunderstanding and antagonism recurs in Stoppard’s work. It can be found in almost every play. But the emotional content of his plays is at an absolute minimum, the characters are mainly vehicles for the investigation of an issue. However, there is often room for an actor to create a compelling character to fit Stoppard’s script; Michael Horden’s portrayal of George in Jumpers at the National Theater is a good example.

Read the full version of this article at:

http://www.literature-study-online.com/essays/stoppard.html

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