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In the last part of scene 7, there is a pantomime between Amada and Laura. What is the...

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kelvin1218548 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted September 27, 2010 at 10:32 AM via web

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In the last part of scene 7, there is a pantomime between Amada and Laura. What is the significance of it? or in terms of metatheatre?

"Amada appears to be making a comforing speech to Laura who is huddled upon the sofa. Now that we cannot hear the mother`s speech, her silliness is gone and she has dignity and tragic beatuy... At close of Tom`s speech, Laura blows out the candles, ending the play."

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jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 29, 2010 at 2:24 PM (Answer #1)

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Tom has long ago left his mother, Amanda, and his sister, Laura. He is remebering the aftermath of the disastrous dinner with Jim, the gentleman caller. As Tom speaks of his escape from his family and what he has done with his life since, we see the two women in his life act out a little play, as in metatheatre. As he speaks from the present, a vignette from the past unfolds behind him: Laura, curled up on the sofa in utter hopelessness and disbelief, is tended to by her mother. Just as Tom finishes his final speech with:

Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be !

I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger -anything that can blow your candles out !

Laura blows the candles out ending the play. It's like a pathetic, little ballet set to a heartfelt, poetic narration.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 1, 2010 at 2:26 AM (Answer #2)

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In addition to the very awesome last posting, the pantomime and its relationship with meta theatricals implies that another story is unfolding within the plot, and that is the story of Laura and her mother, further succumbing into the depths of denial, and continuously living in oblivion. Their story, unlike Jim's is a repetition of what has been happening decades before: One mother enabling her daughter's co-dependence and anxiety while the daughter is enabling her mother's continuous lapses into the past and shorter and shorter periods of reason.

Basically the metatheatre is how the story of these two women continues on so evidently that even Jim can predict and visualize what is going on in the household, and he mourns for the future of the most important women in his life.

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