In "Tape" by Jose Rivera, identify the conflict and resolution (if any) of the play.

Expert Answers
booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Jose Rivera's play called "Tape," the conflict of the story is that the Person (who is in a room and is very uncertain about what is to happen there) is dead—and aware of it—and he is in a place where he must answer for the life he has led. This seems to represent the conflict in the play: the Person facing his "sins."

Even though the Attendant offers as much help as possible, the Person becomes frustrated and verbally aggressive, though he apologizes, also, several times. It's uncertain whether the Person is in Heaven or in hell: this may represent an unusual form of "Judgment Day." The Person is being forced to look back over his life. This might not seem too bad until we recall that the Attendant informs the Person that outside there are ten thousand boxes, filled with tapes. The Person must listen to each tape—the Attendant will be outside the entire time. However, this is not even what is so disconcerting. The Attendant explains that the time the Person must spend listening is unique to him. The Person will have to listen to himself, only to his voice. The Attendant elucidates:

Listening, word by word, to every lie you ever told while you were alive…Every ugly lie to every person, every single time, every betrayal, every lying thought, every time you lied to yourself, deep in your mind, we were listening, we were recording, and it's all in these tapes, ten thousand boxes of them, in your own worlds, one lie after the next, over and over, until we're finished.

The Person is horrified and apologizes, repeatedly, but there is no way out. The very idea of having to listen to ten thousand boxes worth of lies indicates not only what kind of man the Person was in life, but just how long this process is going to take—perhaps not an eternity, but a very long time.

The conflict is that the Person must face up to the kind of person he was while he lived. There is no resolution at the play's end. We, as the audience, are left listening to (perhaps) a mother's voice demanding where he has been, and we watch as the Person prepares to listen to the first of his lies.

Additional Source:é_Rivera_(playwright)