Lost in Yonkers Questions and Answers
by Neil Simon

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When Bella runs away in Act 2 of Lost In Yonkers does she steal the $5,000 she needs to open a restaurant from her mother's secret hiding place?  Her brother Louie gives her money from his little black bag when he sees her at Gert's.  But when she returns home and confronts her mother she gives money back to her.  I think she took it, but my husband says she only has the money Louie gave her.  I am playing this role now and need to know! did Bella steal? Please help!  Thank you.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Part of the tension in Lost in Yonkers is the ambiguity around Grandma Kurnitz's alleged thousands of dollars. This tension heightening element is further heightened itself by the ambiguity around Louie's activities, money and black bag. The central point of Bella's characterization is that (1) wherever the money came from, Bella gave it back and (2) wherever the money came from, Bella found her voice, broke out of her daze and mended her weak mind and her family's dysfunction. This is demonstrated by the ending in which Bella confidently prepares dinner for her mother and states calmly, matter-of-factly and with full confidence that she will like to have her new friend's brother over to dinner: Bella does not ask, neither does she suggest, instead, she decides and states.


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