Of Mice and Guys– the Crisis of Drama
The drama Based on Peter Szondi’s research studies, the Drama of modernity had its start in Renaissance. After the collapse of the middle ages worldview, a creative truth in which a person might fix and mirror himself on the basis of interpersonal relationships was developed. Male revealed himself to his modern world: nothing outside the social relationships was accepted in the drama. Drama is outright and distinct for it is separate from whatever outside itself and it is constructed by dialogue, which is dominant.
The author can not appear anywhere in drama– referred to what is spoken– however it comes from him just as an entire and whatever spoken can not be out of context. Likewise, the absoluteness of this creative reality concerns to the spectator that has to be passive: “silent, with hands tied, lamed by the effect of this other world”(p. 8)?. The relationship between star and role can not show up, because no things can exist besides those shown in the drama– star and character become one. The drama is constantly primary, which indicates that it represents only itself.
It is not connected to some historical event, or to something that is occurring in the contemporary world, and these both characteristics constantly causes the “present” as Drama’s internal time. The internal time, or present, is built through dialogue– as the discussions pass, the action pass and the present is dressed by a brand-new present. As Szondi affirms, “every minute should consist of the seeds of future” (p. 9), otherwise, the linearity and the concept of outright presence in Drama would be subverted. From this point of view, the temporal fragmentation of the scenes would lead to the break of unity of time.
Another aspect of drama consists on its unity of location. The spatial context should not be big, because the larger the scene, the more difficult it is to the viewers to follow it. Then, with Drama’s characteristics discussed above, this paper will evaluate one of the books that represented the beginning of the crisis of drama. The book is Of Mice and Guy, and a few of its aspects that can be thought about opposite to what was preached by Drama’s theory will be observed. The Crisis in Of mice and Guy As stated in intro, the Drama consists in unity. Nothing outside the social relationships was accepted in it.
As Szondi states, “real remarkable action does not present human existence in regards to some particular cause. If it did, the action would point beyond itself (…) The presence of the dramatis personalities need to not reach beyond the temporal borders of the Drama” (p. 38), which means that the characters presented in the Drama are not created as a mirror of subjects in the outside world. This sort of significant presentation is called by Szondi as “change of alienated conditionality into social reality” and it indicates that a single significant personae represents countless individuals residing in the same condition.
However, in Of Mice and Male, of John Steinbeck, an undramatic element is seen– the characters do represent subjects inserted in a particular duration of human history. In this case, the duration remits to the Great Anxiety, which happened after World War I and had disastrous impacts in lots of countries. This crisis led numerous rural poor and hand workers to produce much more items, but for the very same quantity of cash and many rich farmers purchased more lands and expensive agricultural devices in order to support the brand-new need, and this made them broke. It is in this context that Steinbeck composes Of Mice and Male.
Among the primary characters, Lennie, is as mindless as a mice, and he may represent the life that the low society– in this specific case, hand employees– had in this period. Lennie can likewise be a stereotype of individuals that simply accept and follow what others inform them to do and this can be observed in the second act, first scene, when Curley begins beating Lennie and the last battles back only when George asks him to do so. A character as Lennie can not be accepted in society, since he is not capable to, at least, attempt to improve his conditions in the world– he is not even able to reason about himself.
He just comply with orders without being able to consider what is his real function in society and every action he does by his will ends in great problem. Curley, in charge’ child, symbolizes the oppressive system. He lot of times acts irrationally and wishes to demonstrate his power by showing his physical strength– although minimal. This character might be sometimes thought about as silly as Lennie, however the difference is that he is the boy of the ranch’s owner, and knows the difference in between evil and good, which indicates he understands his wrong behaviors.
Opposite to Curley, there are characters as George, Curley’s wife, Crooks and Sweet that are victims of the system, however, at the very same time, dream about altering their lives to a better condition, despite the fact that the overbearing system impedes them to satisfy their dream. George dreams about owning a land, Curley’s wife desires to be a movie star however renounces it by marrying Curley. Scoundrels wishes to have his own mules and also hoeing a patch of garden on Lennie’s farm one day. Sweet gets thrilled about George’s idea to have a piece of land and wants to participate in it.
All of these dreams represent for these characters the possibility of real happiness, but the realization of these fantasies is not tangible for them. These dreams are an allegory of the impossibility of reaching the American Dream. Such impossibility is another undramatic aspect in Of Mice and Guy, since it is a method of the legendary I to expose to the audience one idea, or, as Anatol Rosenfeld in his essay “O Teatro Epico” shows, it is a method to provide a “palco cientifico capaz de esclarecer ao publico sobre a sociedade e a necessidade de transforma-la” (p. 48). The impressive I consists in a topic which stands above the play and reveals the social determinants and requires the viewers to reflect about society and to make decisions in order to enhance it. In Of Mice and Men, the legendary I exposes a number of problems in human society. Among these issues there are the currently mentioned impossibility to reach the American Dream, the brutality that men with particular power can exercise upon guys people of lower classes and the requirement of not take an action simply when someone else requires it.
However there are other conceptions provided in the play, as the imponderability of life that acts on all males, not simply upon those of a low condition– although an employer, Curley has his better half killed by Lennie. It demonstrates that, metaphorically, there are rich and non-wealthy mices, however both experience superior forces that submit them to uncontrolled circumstances– the repressive human elite, the death, the mental incapability etc. It remits to the title of the play, which indicates people and mices share the fragility they possess prior to something bigger than them.
Likewise, there is the conception of relationship which is pointed by the relationship in between Lennie and George. The spectator notifications that George appears to look after his friend, for Lennie has a mental disability. Their relationship is established within the very first pages of the very first act, and although they are ignorant laborers, they have a mutual dedication that persists up until George eliminates Lennie, mercifully, with a shot to the back of his head just as Sweet’s dog is killed by Carlson, pulling back, therefore, the resemblance in between the pet dog and Lennie– the canine’s murder was a prelude of what would occur further to Lennie.
Finally, the last undramatic aspect to be thought about in Of Mice and Men is based on Szondi’s affirmation that, in social Drama, “The play’s unity is not rooted in the connection of action but rather in the unnoticeable epic I who provides the conditions and occasions” (p. 40). This element consists in the rubric, that is an instrument through which standards are given to the reader relating to the circumstance, the time, and the character’s features, lines and actions.
In the 18th century, the rubric gotten significance as the characters became more psychologized. As they are introduced, the rubrics operate as a gadget that helps not just to construct the characters however to reveal the intricacy of their relation by showing the nature of their interaction, the way they respond to each other and to the faced situations. In the very first act, Lennie’s manners are described by the legendary I through adverbs as “irritably”, “intensely”, “sternly”, “disgustedly” and “violently”.
On the other hand, George seems to presume a rationalist position with more security, which enables him to contemplate and question about the circumstances, present in the 2nd scene of the act one, when he “examines”, acts “skeptically”, “on guard”, “thoughtfully” and “pensively”. These rubrics reveal the distinction between both main characters. Throughout all the play, rubrics are presented suggesting the sensations and situations of characters.
Likewise, rubrics in Of Mice and Males present the circumstance: “Outside the sound of the horseshoe video game goes on” (p. 331), “They occur opposite each other at the table” (p. 339), “Sweet turns over and watches George” (p. 345). Much more, in the very beginning of each act, the legendary I tells the hours, the locations and the situation to be more developed through the character’s discussion.
All the qualities pointed out in this paragraph show that there is a specific look of the impressive I, although his identity is not exposed, and this is again an element of the crisis of Drama. As a conclusion, it can be said that with society’s crisis, the Drama likewise went into in crisis, and the need of change in plays appeared. This requirement suggested in making the spectator an observer, obligating him to make choices and to face his problems.
Of Mice and Guy, as currently analyzed, was among the very first plays to present undramatic components, considering that it exposes stereotypes of society with the intention to expose social problems after Great Anxiety and likewise shows the impossibility of reaching the American Dream. Bibliography ROSENFELD, Anatol. “O Teatro como Instituto Didatico”, in O Teatro Epico. Colecao Buriti. SZONDI, Peter. “The Drama” e “The Drama in Crisis”, in Theory of the Modern Drama. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1999. STEINBECK, John. Of Mice and Guy.