What are three specific examples from Today Is Friday that aid in understanding Hemingway's text?

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There are several key lines in this play which further Hemingway's purpose:

He didn’t want to come down off the cross. That’s not his play.

This is the moment that truly provides the context of the play. When the third soldier remarks "Jesus Christ" a few lines earlier, the line slips by as a reaction to the drink. Yet here, it is clear that Jesus of the New Testament is the man they are speaking of—meaning that this is the evening of Jesus's crucifixion.

It isn't that that's so bad, as when they first lift 'em up. [He makes a lifting gesture with his two palms together.] When the weight starts to pull on 'em. That's when it gets 'em.

These lines provide the truly horrific imagery of Christ's crucifixion, yet crucifixions are so commonplace in this historical context that the soldiers discuss the scene with a detached tone. This description is a reminder of the numerous methods used to torture and punish Christ, whose teachings were of peace and nonviolence.

Just the women stuck by him.

When the second soldier asks what became of Jesus's "gang," or his disciples, the first soldier responds that they "faded out." In the scriptures, the only disciple who is noted at Golgotha is John; the others fled when Jesus was arrested and likely stayed away, fearing for their own lives. Yet the women who loved Jesus demonstrated courage, witnessing his final hours and comforting him through his agonizing death. Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of Clopas, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and John are all noted as witnesses to Jesus's suffering. The strength of women and mothers is clear through scripture, and Hemingway's line is a nod to their courage.

I hope this helps as you continue to examine the lines of this play and the allusions to Scripture which are woven throughout the soldiers' conversation. Good luck!

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