The Rimers of Eldritch

by Lanford Wilson
Start Free Trial

Quotes

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

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.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

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,

Homework Help

Latest answer posted November 24, 2008, 11:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

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 and how he hit her—you didn’t know that! And she cried ’cause he got so mad . . . I SAW HIM! You’re better for a man than he is.

Skelly refers to this violent incident again in his monologue in act 2, saying that Robert is

better’n his no good brother everybody yelling about doing it by hand Hitting girls around. People don’t care! They don’t see. What. What they want to think they think; what they don’t they don’t. They don’t care anyway; what kind of devilment. What goes on.

In particular, the line “what they want to think they think; what they don’t they” don’t tells us that Skelly knows how people in the town adopt a group mentality and believe hearsay and rumors above the truth. This line also foreshadows Skelly's murder and Robert’s lies about the incident: Skelly knows that regardless of the truth, people in the small town have made their mind up about what they think of him before they know what happened, and so justice will never be served.

Another quote that foreshadows the violence in the play is Mary's line in act 1 where she says,

I saw it . . . someone’s going to be butchered in this town. Blood is going to be shed.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Previous

Analysis