Crimes of the Heart

by Beth Henley

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What is your personal response to Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley?

A natural personal response to the play Crimes of the Heart is to feel hopeful. While all three sisters were in a terrible place in their lives at the beginning of the story, things have turned around by the end and are looking far more positive for all three sisters.

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My personal response to this play is a feeling of hope. At the beginning, things seemed pretty dire for all three girls. Lenny has given up everything to look after her grandfather and, to make things worse, battles with feelings of unworthiness due to her inability to conceive. Meg has joined the millions who head to Hollywood in search of stardom but do not find it. The youngest, Babe, is on trial for murdering her husband. Over and above all these personal traumas, all three sisters are dealing with being abandoned by their father and their mother’s later suicide.

Later in the story, however, things start to turn around for all three girls, showing that there is hope in even the darkest of times. Lenny finally realizes that her responsibility to look after her grandfather is not the be-all and end-all of her life. Meg eventually realizes that she is capable of loving and being loved. Babe is exonerated of her crime based on the fact that her husband had been unfaithful to her. Over and above that, Babe is able to reach a kind of peace about her mother’s suicide.

The developments in all three sisters’ lives show that even in the darkest of times and the toughest of circumstances, hope never dies.

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