What are the mythic elements in the play Chicago?Actually, I need help in analyzing the character of Stu, and one of the parts that I should focus on is the mythic elements, but I'm having trouble...

What are the mythic elements in the play Chicago?

Actually, I need help in analyzing the character of Stu, and one of the parts that I should focus on is the mythic elements, but I'm having trouble with them...

Asked on by unusualme

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kimfuji | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

If you look at the action you can see the mythic elements come through. The plot is simple: A 20 year old man named Stu (Wayne Maugans) is in a bathtub wearing jeans, while Joy (Leslie Silva), is preparing to leave for Chicago for a job. Her friends stop by to say goodbye. Joy jumps into the tub to join Stu. Stu sits there.

However the other stuff that goes on in the play are the "mythic" parts. Other characters come and go. Stu gives a monologue. He sees (more like has fantastical visions)barracudas and fishermen, who are actually looked at by the fish. He becomes the persona of an old woman who judges the young women on the beach.

The images get more and more violent and disturbing ending up as a kind of armegeddon.

In the end it is only the intense feelings of a young man who is terrorized by being left.

When you look at each of these images that goes through his mind, it is possible to see the mythic aspect of it all: the fish looking at the fisherman(loss of identity); the old woman looking down on the younger women(fear of growing old & dying); the end of the world(death). All of these images suggest themes in mythology that are as old as the hills.

He experiences all of this while inthe tub. He is suffering from abandonment, of course. But the intensity of these abandonment feelings is shown by his active imagination. All of the images are within the realm of abandonment=fear of growing up and loosing one's identity; fear of growing old and loosing the identity of youth; fear of dying and loosing life.

unusualme's profile pic

unusualme | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

thank you, that did help me a lot. however, my professor also says that I should pay attention to the treatment of the myth of the American hero (marine, cowboy), and that Stu is the embodiment of that myth. I don't quite understand this, how is he connected with the American hero?

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