Themes and Meanings

(Comprehensive Guide to Drama)

The Odd Couple is a comic treatment of a serious theme: how human relationships can go wrong, especially when too much ego is involved. Felix and Oscar are both part of a failed marital relationship; while both readily admit to their shortcomings, they have too much self-love to believe that the failure actually resulted from any faults of their own. Although Felix enumerates the annoying traits that drove Frances to send him away, he cannot distance himself from his ego enough to see Frances’ point of view with any real conviction. Deep down, he believes that he is a better cook and housekeeper; therefore, Frances’ actions were unjustified and unfair. When Felix professes to hate himself for his past behavior, Oscar objects, “You don’t hate you. You love you. You think no one has problems like you.” Felix has learned nothing from his failed marriage; he continues making the same mistakes in his relationship with Oscar. Oscar is also guilty of too much self-love. His slovenliness and insensitivity to his former wife, Blanche, are just as self-centered as Felix’s fussiness. When they were married, Oscar thought nothing of waking Blanche up at three in the morning to fix his dinner. He burned holes in the furniture, was a heavy drinker, and for their tenth anniversary took Blanche to see a hockey game. His life is one of self-gratification; he is as extravagant as Felix is penny-pinching.

Yet Oscar and Felix remain lovable and...

(The entire section is 509 words.)

The Odd Couple Themes

Order and Disorder
When two good friends newly separated from their wives decide to live together, the arrangement...

(The entire section is 1358 words.)