Last Updated on August 7, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 619
A lot of the lines in this play are made up of multiple conversations happening in different parts of the stage overlaid with each other; a lot of the suspense and action in the play is created with lighting, as well as the confusion the audience experiences when unrelated lines are said at the same time.
The setting of Eldritch is addressed in Mary’s line in act 1 where she says,
Immunity to death myself. My number passed Gabriel right on by. It came up and passed right on by and here I am a forgotten child . . . rusting away, flaking away.
Here Mary is saying that she is in a limbo, just like the town of Eldritch—not dead, but at the same time not really alive.
Robert’s character, and his frustration with the futility of living in the small town—as well as with living in his dead older brother’s shadow—is addressed in Robert’s lines in act 2, where he says,
What do I want with a car? So I can drive around the square. Around the square, around the square. It’s all they ever do; all the boys with cars. Around the square and over into Centerville to a drive-in to eat and a drive-in to see a movie. . . . Everybody doesn’t have to have a car. Everybody talks like that’s all there is. The guys at school spend their whole lives in or on top of or under their cars. They eat in them and sleep in them and change clothes and drink and get sick and vomit and make out with their girls—it’s all they even ever talk about. Evolution’s gonna take their feet right away from them. Make turtles with wheels for legs out of them. . . . They die in them too. Live and die without ever stepping outside. Why would I want that?
The theme of what happens in secret is developed throughout the play. For instance, the nature of Walter and Patsy’s affair is shown in act 2, when Patsy says to Walter,
I’ll tell your precious Cora what you’re like. Then we’ll see how high and mighty you think you are.
Another secret incident is detailed when, in act 1, Skelly tells Robert that he saw Driver, Robert’s dead brother
with Betty Atkins—in her bedroom and her crying and crying...
(The entire section contains 619 words.)
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