In the play Harvey, what do you think Mary Chase is saying about social relationships in this play? How to the various characters view social relationships, and is any one view privileged over the others? How do you view Elwood’s drinking?
Mary Chase has a lot to say about society. Most of the characters in some way or another, care about society, but each in different ways.
Elwood P. Dowd, the central character, cares little for what society thinks is right. First of all he has an imaginary friend that's a rabbit, and whenever he meets someone, he introduces them to Harvey, his friend. Elwood is a very social man. He likes people and is very friendly towards everyone he meets. There is not much said about Elwood's past. It is said that he took care of his mother until she died, and when she did die, she left him everything. Elwood spends much of his time in bars. It is not said that he is an alcoholic, but I think he drinks to ease the pain in his life. He is lonely and wants to be a part of society, where he has friends that really care for him.
Veta Louise Chumley, is Elwood's sister. All Veta cares about is making her standing in society better. She is so embarrassed by Elwood. She wants her and her daughter to be maidens of society, that she tries to have Elwood committed. She thinks that by having Elwood put away, she and her daughter can live the life she wants.
Mary Chase tries to show us that just because society says something is normal, that is not always the case. We need to treat people with respect and forget about society.