Right You Are (If You Think So) Essay - Critical Essays

Luigi Pirandello

Critical Evaluation

Right You Are (If You Think So), which has been given varied English titles, may be Luigi Pirandello’s most extreme statement on one of his favorite themes: the relativity of truth. Laudisi, who mocks the townspeople’s determination to pry out the secret of Signora Frola and the Ponzas, and who several times tries in vain to stop them, serves as the author’s spokesman and the explicator of his theme. Despite the philosophical nature of the theme, the drama is an eminently actable one.

Pirandello sets up a situation in which the truth, as people are accustomed to verifying it, cannot be determined because of the inability to establish a single truth for all. An earthquake has destroyed the village from which the Ponza-Frola family came, dispersed or killed most of its inhabitants, and destroyed the official birth and death records. The author further indicates that even if factual evidence such as documents were to be found, a single truth acceptable to all could not be found because the documents would be interpreted differently by the various parties. This point, the theme of the play, is shown through the manner in which truth is perceived by various groups and characters within the play.

The first group consists of the townspeople (the Agazzi family and their friends). To them, truth is specific and concrete. It represents what one can see and feel, a decidedly empirical approach to reality. They assume that reality appears...

(The entire section is 577 words.)