Lost in Yonkers

by Neil Simon

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In Act 2 of "Lost in Yonkers," does Bella steal the $5,000 needed for a restaurant from her mother's hiding place, or does she only have the money given by Louie?

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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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