Themes and Meanings

(Survey of Dramatic Literature)

The women have secrets that remain unrevealed to the others or even to themselves. This suggests two related major themes throughout the play: the alienation of the individual and the impossibility of knowing oneself or others. Fefu maintains that if she did not shoot her husband with blanks she would shoot him with bullets but provides no explanation. She makes wild remarks, such as saying all women are loathsome, and claims this wildness is what makes her friends like her. When Cindy objects and says she would love her even if she were not the way she was, Fefu responds that if she were not the way she was Cindy would not know it was her. A rock, Fefu says, may seem smooth and clean on top, but underneath it may be slimy and crawling with worms. People do not manifest all aspects of themselves to others and may not even recognize their own hidden selves. As a result, they feel cut off from themselves and from others. Emma says that heaven is for those who are divine lovers, but she evidently suspects hell is heavily populated, since human relationships are inevitably strained and intimacy is impossible to sustain even between two people, much less in groups or society at large. Yet embracing isolation provides no solution either, only furthering the sense of alienation.

This stance, commonplace in absurdist theater, is demonstrated throughout the play. Julia feels as though she is perishing alone. She longs to be with others who hallucinate to validate...

(The entire section is 547 words.)