Describe Norman's character from SubUrbia by Eric Bogosian. 

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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SubUrbia reflects a microscopic view of a society at odds with itself. On reflection, many audiences are able to see an element of truth in the setting, reflective of their own existences. The parking lot represents the whole world of the boys who are unable to find any meaning to life. Whilst it may seem extreme, it reveals that many people go through life in much the same way and do not grasp at opportunities waiting, rather, for someone else to create an opportunity for them and, when this does not happen, wondering where it all went wrong. Life's purpose escapes the characters. To ensure the message, the play is written in an almost one-dimensional manner.

Norman is the owner of the 7-Eleven store with his own set of problems. He is clearly a little afraid of the boys but does attempt, unsuccessfully, to assert his authority over his "private property" and having threatened to call the police does so when he feels that the situation may get out of hand. Norman does not hide his disgust of drunkenness and he has to tolerate Tim's verbal abuse and slurs against his Pakistani heritage, calling him a "towel-head," but does seem to recognize that Tim is not representative of all the youth and even tries to give advice to Jeff.  

Eventually Norman does begin to assert himself but comes across as arrogant as he reveals his intention of finishing his Engineering degree and having a house with a pool. The one-upmanship is not appreciated by the characters. Norman gets into a debate with Buff and mocks him as Buff suggests that he too can rise above this when he moves to "L.A." Norman does manage to ignore a lot of the racial slurs and innuendo aimed at him but as the situation intensifies and Bee-Bee is discovered on the roof, there is panic. Norman sees the possibility of his whole future disintegrating but he can still move on. Ultimately it is Norman who recognizes the futility and how they have just wasted their lives, their lack of insight resulting in Bee Bee's death.  

All of these events reveal Norman as a conflicted character, not malicious in any way but very intent on improving his own circumstances, mindful of the pointless existence of teh others but powerless to do much about it. This makes his character weak. 

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