Why do you think Wally takes a cab home, after the dinner?
He complained so much in the beginning about not having enough money when during the subway riding scene before the dinner. What made him change his transportation belief?
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There is a danger in concentrating on details like this in a piece designed to introduce large philosophical ideas. The author was not trying to depict a realistic, detailed mise-en-scene, but rather a setting that would nurture the kind of quiet, thoughtful conversation between friends that would induce and encourage this intimate, important exchange of ideas. If the transportation detail has any significance at all, it is a small indication that Wally has heard Andre’s message and is beginning to change his view of what’s important in this world. But the essence of this piece is the presentation of Andre’s experience with the avant garde acting troupe and its philosophies. As another example of misplaced attention, many students try to “make something” of the waiter’s entrances and exits, wondering if the author was “punctuating” the piece with these interruptions. This kind of essay examination is simply an echo of what we are taught to do with traditional literature – to look closely at “clues” the author has inserted, as if the literary piece were a “puzzle” to be solved. This work, a great example of philosophical discourse in conversation mode, deserves an examination of its main components, its large ideas, and its exquisite portrayal of what friendship looks like.
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