Week 6 Wednesday and Friday notes
Week 6 Wednesday and Friday notes TA 2014
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This 17 page Class Notes was uploaded by Theresa Marie Cordero on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to TA 2014 at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months taught by Susanna Rinehart in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see Intro to Theatre in Liberal Arts at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months.
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Date Created: 02/22/16
○ sent Oswald away he was merely seven and started to see things and ask questions...I thought he could be poisoned” ■ she played it both ways: conforming to society’s expectations while at the same time trying to save son Oswald ■ she ran household and their businesses = good example for woman transcending heredity in her environment ● this is the way in which secretly she defines her heredity and environment while at the same time making it appear her husband is in charge and she’s conforming to society’s expectations ● PG. 24 “Because he married me..contributions of orphanage add up to the sum that made lieutenant Alving such a good catch in his day..what he inherits will come from me and no one else” ○ thinks that she can stop her son for inheriting anything from his father ○ she’s really trying to have it both ways because she’s also having ○ Ibsen says this doesn’t work ● scene ends with history repeating itself ○ Oswald acts just like his father ○ Oswald’s chasing Regina around the dining room ● Act 2 ○ aftermath, more past revealed Regina’s parentage, Manders & Helen’s past, “ghosts” speech (pg. 2529) ○ pg: 25 says Regina has to leave immediately ■ learn Engstand is not her biological father ■ “the only thing to do was to hush up the whole affair” Helen ● Manders agrees ■ Mr. Alving gave Johanna cash to keep her quiet to not reveal who Regina’s father is ○ Manders & Helen’s past: Manders gets outraged Engstrand lied to him about arranging his wedding with Johanna ■ “how different is that from me?” Mrs. Alving ● here Ibsen raises question of institution of marriage that essentially sells off women to men ■ Engstrand got paid $3,000 ● “Imagine allowing yourself to be tied to a woman of those principles for a lousy three thousand” Manders ● “I was just thinking you could say the same of me, marrying some wanton drunk. Admittedly, for considerably more” Helen ○ Helen realizes she’s not different from Engstrand to allow herself to be bought by marriage and she went against her heart ○ Manders says you need to unquestioningly follow the beliefs you were raised with ○ “ghosts” speech” (pg 2529) ■ Helen lays out what she thinks about society ● people in the society don’t seek light, truth or question (follows everything they’ve been taught) ○ Helen claims we’re all ghosts because of this ^ and traditions from our family hang on us ○ people stopped thinking for themselves and blindly receive old customs that aren’t relevant or true anymore ○ metaphor of darkness & light we’re willing to live in the shade and not look at the truth “shining the light on the ugly buried truth” ○ “We’re not living at all just stumbling dead through life. Blindly hugging to our soul the same rotting judgments and standards, conventions and dead ideas, habits. It’s not just the traditions we’ve inherited from oru parents and our culture...all over the country, thick as the sands on the beach; this death of thought just goes through our lives blowing out lamps. But it’s so easy to sit in the dark and keep the shades drawn when we’re all so deathly afraid of the light” Helen (pg 29) ● speaks of personal relationship with Manders the same way as he’s the one who caused her to think this way ○ takes it back to the moment where he denied her love ■ sees his denial as the best gift he could give her b/c then she learned to recognize the self ● “ yes when you forced me to submit to what you called duty and responsibility. When you praised as right and proper what my whole soul rebelled against as revolting. That was when I started looking at the fabric of your teaching. I was only going to examine a thread or two but when they came loose, the whole patchwork fell to pieces” Helen (pg 29) ● t he minute she began to question a part of it the whole status quo system fell apart ● Helen’s a middle age woman trying to recognize the self ○ Manders comforts Engstand, bargain ■ outraged at Engstrand for lying to him about the marriage ■ but Engstrand reveals he put the $ towards Regina’s education ● he talks about seamen’s hotel again ○ Oswald reveals his illness (pg 3637) ■ he inherited a STD from his father and his father’s actions but Helen is the one who passed it on to him ● Helen’s silence and willingness to conform relates to her passing the STD to Oswald, she’s the carrier of the disease (literally and metaphorically) ■ Oswald describes what his illness is without actually naming it, it’s implied ● Ibsen shines light on the fact that upper middle class people also get STD’s ○ shows realities in real life that people don’t want to deal with ■ very striking at the time ● society paid attention to the diseases once people they cared about got the disease ○ cycles of human history, some history that we have with certain taboo subjects we don’t want to question or deal with ● striking when Oswald goes to the doctor it’s a mystery how he could’ve contracted the disease ○ mystery because: he thinks that both of his parents were faithful to each other in their marriage ○ doctor says he either could’ve contracted it from his behavior or his parent’s behavior ■ Oswal d feels like it’s his fault that he has the disease and it’s because he had a slip up in his relationships somewhere in the past that he doesn’t know since he imagined his father to be a perfect gentleman so it can’t be his father’s fault ● “ That’s what I can’t understand. I’m not promiscuous. I never have been, really. I’ve never touched absinthe. I don’t use drugs” Oswald (pg 36) ■ doctor says “sins of father have passed on to the children” ● b eginning of Helen’s tragic realization she wrote letters fabricating his father’s image and he showed the doctor as proof that Oswald couldn’t have inherited the disease from his father which raises the doctor’s possibility that it’s Oswald’s own fault he’s dying ○ H elen’s silent for a while, taking in all of the information then she speaks telling the truth ○ Joy, hunger for live vs. life as punishment ■ Mrs. Alving puts together recognize how she’s participated in the problem not only does she reveal truth and recognize her mistakes but she sees by conforming to society’s will she’s been part of what’s created her husband’s pain & destruction ● killed husband’s joy? ● notion that Regina has sort of embodied this joy of life Helen realizes this is part that Regina has inherited from Captain Alving ● goes further in understanding the way in which the system has killed the way her husband was ■ pg. 41 ● “I don’t expect you to understand that” Oswald ● “No, I think I’m beginning to” Helen ● “That and the joy of creating, the joy of work. But that’s completely unknown around here” Oswald ● “And why is that?” Helen ● “Because you’re all taught that work is a drudgery, an obligation to pay for your sins. And life is one long punishment you’d best be done with, and the sooner the better” Oswald ● “But nobody thinks anything like that abroad. There people revel in the celebration of just being alive in this astonishing world. Haven’t you noticed all my paintings celebrate life? airfaces radiant with happiness. That’s why I’m afraid to stay here at home with you.” Oswald ○ Oswald doesn’t want to stay with Helen, otherwise he would lose the joy ● “I’m afraid that everything good in me, most alive, would degenerate into some kind of selfloathing” Oswald ○ in listening to her son, Helen believes she’s ready to tell the truth ■ climax: orphanage is burning fire happens at same time Helen tries to deconstruct herself her plans that she tried to build ● Act 3 ○ scene description: sun is coming out truth is being revealed ○ Engstrand’s plot: sees opening to manipulate the situation ■ “we’ve got him by the short hairs this time honey” Engstrand ■ blames Manders for causing the fire ● tries to plant seed that it’s Mander’s fault ○ since Manders is all about appearances ● if he can convince him that he set the fire, Manders would do anything to keep that quiet ● “I’ll stay quiet if you give me money to start my seaman's home” Engstrand to Manders ○ Helen’s truth (pg 4849) : with both of the children Regina & Oswald ■ pressed by notion she can’t stand idea that Oswald would die imaging it’s his fault that he contracted the disease ■ makes connection to the way she contributed to their father’s downfall ■ positive image of Captain Alving ● she remembers back of organically who he was didn’t fit in with society though ● “so strong and had such positive energy...really did act like a child sometimes...was expected to live here in this dull, downtrodden town that offered no room for joy. Only boundaries or indulgence” Helen (pg 48) ○ Flaw that Ibsen mentions was society, which destroyed Captain Alving ■ Helen realizes her fault in Mr. Alving’s downfall ● everything was duty ● made the house an unbearable place to live ■ Helen reveals that Regina is Mr. Alving’s father ● Regina’s angry b/c she’s been a servant in the house of her father ● Helen fails both Oswald & Regina ○ Regina repeats the past of her mother ● bizarre mix of heredity & environment leads Regina to make worst possible choices that Mrs. Alving could’ve hoped for her ■ her modern version of a tragic realization she comes to understand way in which her conformity to societal values impacted everyone in the family ● failure of hers: she somehow imagined she could conform to society’s views, maintain appearances, and while at the same time save her son from influences of society (but moral of story is that she has failed and everything comes crashing down on her) ~~~~~~~~~~~~Tuesday, February 23, 2016~~~~~~~~~~ ● Boeing Boeing Notes ○ Gloria (American in TWA airport) ○ Gretchen (German in Lufthansa airport) ○ Gabriella (Italian in Alitalia) ○ Robert (Bernard’s friend who falls in love with Gretchen she falls in love with him at the end also) ○ Bernard (American living in Paris with 3 fiancees) ○ Bertha (Bernard’s french housekeeper) ● main events ○ Gretchen stays for 3 days ○ Gabriella gets taken out to dinner by Bernard and he leaves her at the restaurant and she comes back to complain since she’s angry at him for leaving ○ Gloria eats pancakes, she’s shown first ■ she has 2 other boys she’s interested in and is going back to America to marry a guy from New York ■ she’s from New York ■ like’s when Robert says “it’s impossible” which causes her to kiss him she thinks his mouth looks like a flower ○ Bernard always tries to tell his fiancees to go to the countryland ○ Bertha wants to quit but then asks for a raise so she stays working with Bernard and she’s the one who helps keep him organized ○ Robert is from Wisconsin and has never been married ~~~~~~~~~~~~Wednesday, February 24, 2016~~~~~~~~~~ ● Act 3 ○ Oswald to Helen “give me the sun” ■ he asks her to do for him, what is unthinkable for her name to assist him to commit suicide and end his life ■ he’s devolving quickly into extreme pain and he’s asked her to save him by taking away his life (ultimate horror / tragic outcome of her choices) ■ notion of “give me the sun” becomes “give me death” “help me end my life” ● life is gray, stormy, bleek & joyless freedom and liberation from that is a kind of light (the sun) ■ extreme decision ■ “how can you ask for this, I gave you life?” Helen ■ “I didn’t ask for it” Oswald ■ ambiguity at what Helen will actually do ● Ibsen doesn’t say ■ very topical question now but controversial topic for Ibsen’s time ○ Ibsen uses theatre as a way to get people to confront their issues ■ things become metaphorical and symbolic ● “Ghosts” represents early realism ○ clear example of pure realism ○ new theatrical form (midlate 19th century) ● realism becomes norm in theatrical writing ○ still that way today ○ doesn’t go away ○ becomes so much the norm ● With Tennessee William’s “The Glass Menagerie” start to experiment with other forms rejecting realism in theatre ○ becomes replaced and embellished with postrealism ● Social Problem Plays ○ elements we look for (Think of “Ghosts”) ■ realism: realistic play just like with “Ghosts” and elements of realism looked at in the story ■ relevance: fairly obvious, it’s about contemporary (meaning of its time) & controversial social issues ● EX: In “Ghosts” STD’s / notion of keeping up with appearances in society that hypocrisy inherent and valuing what appears to be true over what is true / role of women in the household (at the time, it is a biological and legal trap that Helen had few choices on how to get along with the world and in terms of what she can and does own) / questioning existence of God (revealing Reverend Manders to be hypocritical) / institution of marriage ■ suspense: must have competing plot must be a story that audience gets engaged enough with that they care what happens ● important because if you talk about controversial topics you must keep their attention otherwise the audience will just get annoyed ● key ingredient in order to get audience to engage and see things in a different way ○ get the audience to see the human side of things ○ human encounters opens way to see things in different light (^ the above 3 are very straightforward) ■ presents a particular instance of a general condition: means somehow we understand playwright is showing specific instance of something but we understand it’s a general condition ● (even though there’s many people dealing with the same issues, we understand even though we see individual set...their situation affects a broader social issue or condition) ○ easier for us to relate and become real to us ● EX: in news they start with statistics and then go into an interview with a personal story ■ an essential debate regarding the “rightness” or “wrongness” of society (who is right and wrong) ● somewhere in story there’s almost always 1 character who represents beliefs and system of society ● conflict of play is someone rebelling & questioning the system of society (topic of play creating the dynamic) ■ the author’s point of view is clear the outcome is the author’s proof that society is “wrong” ● points need for change need to look at ourselves and change way we think in some way ● very realistic and reflects what is but it’s not too difficult to identify the author’s point of view and infer which side they’re on ■ these 6 elements serve well in contemporary plays to use as points of analysis ● can take form of comedy or tragedy ● points to notion that society’s point of view is problematic ● Dramatic Form and Structure ○ form: way in which playwright wants the audience to experience his/her vision ■ EX: comedy / tragedy / tragicomedy / drama / etc. ○ structure: way in which playwright organizes the play’s events ○ one of most common dramatic structures we encounter = Climactic structure the most straightforward and linear structuring of a story (a good example is “Ghosts” or “Boeing Boeing”) [ these elements are similar to Neoclassicism like the 3 unities (time, place, action) ] ■ small # of characters ■ one central linear plot (cause & effect sequencing story of Helen & Oswald) ■ limited # of settings (often times just one entire play of ‘Ghosts’ took place in one room) ■ short period of time (in ‘Ghosts’ the actual amount of time was a couple of days) / slice of life thing / compression of time ■ causeeffect sequence of events ■ choices become more and more limited, tension builds towards climax, explosion of the action (high point) then resolution ● feeling as you watch ‘Ghosts’ as play moves forward and more is revealed there’s a sense of inevitability in the end (think of it as a good suspension / action / thriller like James Bond movies) ● familiar form of storytelling, notion of choices getting limited pointing you towards climactic scene is practically built in our DNA we’re so familiar with this ○ Climactic Structure ■ exposition: certain amount of who / what / why / when / where ■ point of attack: sometimes referred to as “hook” ; idea you get certain amount of establishing info. then at one point you go ‘oh I know what the conflict will be about’ or ‘oh I see where the story is going’ ● audience pays attention to the moment of shift where they start getting clearer and clear about central conflict of the story ■ complications: a series of any new character/information introduced to the plot ● each scene added to our understanding and moved story forward (complication) ■ crisis: the point prior to climax ; many ways defined by what it precedes ; best definition is the moment when we know the climax is inevitable (nothing else can happen) and all the choices have disappeared and it’s about to be the highpoint/center conflict ■ climax: high point of action ■ resolution: falling action; you can feel the play is about to end ; things coming to closure ○ the way we structure storytelling to some degree reflects how we experience life ■ many people look at climactic structure as a narrator being very powerful and he/she experiences life as if driving the car ■ EX: story of google creator ■ differences in genders / majority & oppressed minority populations (revealing repressed minority may tell more fractured story b/c telling it from a lack of power) / ■ looking at what is the narrative voice and what’s the structure that reveals a powerless nest ● going as far to connect to male or female experience ■ how we organize our stories can reveal elements on how we experience personal stories ○ Retrospective Structure: ■ small cast, short time span, single setting ■ aware of playwright’s manipulation of events ■ exposition takes up large part of the play ● past’s impact on present ● rediscovery, reassessment of the past ● consequences of the past ● past determination of the present ● Tennessee Williams “The Glass Menagerie” entering the 20th century ○ 191418 (world war 1 the first international conflict of the 20th century, first in what will become increasingly technological warfare for its time it included technologies new to the art of warfare overall casualties hovers 89 million people) / 1917 (remind us year of Bolshevik revolution Russian revolution leading to Soviet Union formation) / 1919 (follows end of world war 1 where we form first international body trying to arbitrate international conflict, League of Nations) 1920s30s (worldwide economic depression, huge economic hardship leading to stock market crash in 1929) / 1922 (Mussolini's power to Italy) / 1928 (Stalin’s power) / 1929 (stock market crash) / 1933 (Hitler came to power) / 1939 (Frederico Franco in Spain) / 193945 ■ we have a series of major political strongmen (Dictators) rising to power in key countries, leading to WW2 ○ moment he writes the story is at the end of WW1 ○ can point to periods of extreme economic hardship as moments where we see rise in fascistic movement into societies ○ Williams’ life essentially began 20th century (born in 1911 died in 1983) he’s deeply influenced by 20th century events ○ past he takes us into the play is the moment before WW2, it’s the moment of innocence ~~~~~~~~~~~~Friday, February 26, 2016~~~~~~~~~~ ● Revolts against realism: ○ symbolism (18801900) ■ one of the first major revolts against realism ■ began in 1880’s in France (influenced by Freud) ■ truth is understood intuitively ■ truth expressed through symbols, ambiguity of meaning ● whereas in “Ghosts” we looked at real objects and figured ways in which they operated symbolically, symbolism takes it further and attempts to have world of play express human experience through symbols (instead of photographically realistic set you create an abstract & symbolic set not trying to be realistic and have characters exist in symbolic landscape to take real human experience instead of mirroring realistically you find symbols & intuitive realities of human beings and translate those onto the stage) ● extension of what’s already beginning to be present in early realism ● as a scenic designer for example, get’s interesting for them b/c job isn’t just to recreate reality but recreate symbolic set of images for characters to reenact with ○ expressionism (19191923) ■ externalization of an internal state ● essentially says how we reveal not just external photographic truth but perhaps the far more interesting inner truth of the characters ○ whereas in purely realistic only place you feel inner truth is through expression of characters ● finding a way to externally feel inner truth ○ EX: lighting ■ William s describes specifically lighting effects which are definitely not realistic (realistic lighting : lamp, sunlight from sky, rain) to evoke and externalize what’s happening externally b/w characters ○ epic theatre of Bertolt Brecht (30’s & 40’s) ■ stage as platform for political debate ■ setting (spare, use of rear projections), lighting (exposed, stark, “white”), music (musicians in full view) ■ acting “the alienation effect” ● Brecht wanted them to use behavior of “an eyewitness to a traffic accident” ○ if you’re a method actor director says you’re IN the traffic accident ○ the eyewitness has a certain degree of distance (still felt and impacted) yet have more ability to step back and describe what happened ■ EX in The Glass Menagerie Tom acts in scene while also narrates and comments on it ○ wanted actors to maintain distance from characters they were playing so as both to be playing them and commenting at them at the same time ■ noticed life in Germany got harder (economic depression) he noticed in large theatre & film responded by becoming increasingly mindless & escapist ● same thing happened in America look at films in middle of Great Depression (they were comedies and musicals makes sense b/c life was hard and they want something that will let the viewers forget about hardships of their lives) ● due to being politically minded and concern of rise of fascism, he looked at it saying it’s wrong and says theatre should be a place where they reflect reality and think about what’s happening to their world ○ “stage should be a platform for political debate” he wanted to create theatre as something that made people engage with difficult topics ■ in his setting/lighting/music he engages audience to not soften any edges in fantasy ■ Brecht = one of the first playwrights having actors break fourth wall ● actor stops and turns to audience asking what they think is going on (to get audience to think and act) ● harsh lighting shines harsh light on reality as opposed to making it softer/easier for audience to bare ● made use of projections (projection imagery) that would juxtapose action on stage ○ letting projection give audience whole other layer of understanding what they were seeing on live action ■ EX: Genocide of Rwanda live action on stage being about Rwandan struggle flashes screen behind them images of prior historical genocides (not related to immediate events in the play but audience can see where it connects making connections to live action on stage) ○ Brecht = first innovator of mix & match of live action and projection ● Tennessee Williams borrowed Brecht’s styles ○ theatricalism (beginning of 20th) ■ opposite of realism ● early on in The Glass Menagerie you have departures from realism ○ Tom acknowledges audience in the beginning pure departure from realism ■ takes away the illusion: tells us that there is a man standing in the curtains playing a violin ■ acknowledgement of theatre as theatre ○ at the base all these departures of realism are grounded in 2 things: ■ as soon as realism is established as mainstream, as in commonly used theatrical mode there are rebellions against it ■ 20th century events: that some of the enormity of the events of first half of 20th century started to get people to feel that realism didn’t get at full truth of human experience ● photograph experience Ibsen used wasn’t enough to grapple complex/ambiguous/difficult challenges that human beings began to find themselves encountering ● (Think WW2: 4550 million people died whole different scale of international conflict in events like Nazi Holocausts and uses of Atomic Bomb were mind altering changes in how we thought nature it is to be human more we came to understand concept of genocide, human beings in devouring to literally eliminate race of earth calls into question huge things about nature of human being) ○ playwrights starting to feel like photographic reenactment of what we see isn’t getting at deeper questions of humanity similarly the use of the atomic bomb (calls into question the nature of humans) ● Tennessee Williams: The Glass Menagerie (19111983) ○ some biographical facts ■ born in deep south (Mississippi) very soon after birth family moved to St. Louis, Missouri (location in The Glass Menagerie) ■ much like the story, mother was born in deep south (born & raised in Mississippi she’s a child of postslavery south) ● mother didn’t adapt well to move to a more modern urban existence and clung strong to idealized version of plantation south and never quite managed to adapt to new urban existence that family found themselves in ■ father didn’t leave like in the play, but his father was definitely absent ■ always wanted to be a writer: had poetic soul (like Tom) ■ started going to University of Missouri but b/c of father’s failures he had to drop out, move back home, get a factory job, and help the family ● like Tom being trapped & prevented from pursuing his dreams ■ given name is Thomas Tom & Tennessee share a first name ● central character is named after himself ■ worked in a shoe factory and did get fired from writing poems in a shoebox ■ struggled significantly with alcohol and later pill addiction (just like Tom using drink as a form of escape) ■ most importantly, Tennessee Williams had a sister (named Rose) ● Rose was diagnosed as schizophrenic ○ was put into a state asylum & was lobotomized (cutting out large parts of brain) ● he never recovered from what happened to Rose ○ felt guilty that he moved on and she didn’t, that he didn’t stop what happened to his sister from happening ○ he did however manage to remove Rose from state asylum ● Laura as crippled & unable to function in harsh reality of everyday world is much like Rose ○ way in which she’s haunted by her memory by the end of the play is Williams's lifelong struggle of him thinking he shouldn’t have abandoned her ■ writes with incredible compassion & empathy for those struggling ■ defining feature of his life: he was gay, being a gay man wasn’t easy for him certainly in his generation it gave him a sense of outsider status/not being part of mainstream/not being acceptable in eyes of mainstream society ● some of his struggles with his sexual orientation and struggles w/ alcohol & addiction = huge parts of his life ○ all of his plays incorporate sensibility of wanting to write stories of those fragile, breakable, & outsiders who don’t quite fit into mainstream of American society ○ other plays ○ themes ○ the setting ■ describing world of play (not just physical things on stage) ■ fire set = symbol of desire of human existence to escape inner city ■ scene is memory and not realistic ● memory omits some details / others are exaggerated according to emotional value of articles it touches / interiors are dim & poetic (form of theatrical design known as selected realism) ○ the idea that what it gets placed on stage are only pieces of what is actually there pick a certain few items that represent that place ■ EX: if I were to save 5 objects from the house that represent that place to me I could do it in a heartbeat it’s the things that mean home to you ■ technology of scenic design radically changes ● 4th wall is there: can’t see into the apartment (building flanked by dark narrow alleys running into murky canyons) feels almost like a jail fenced in on either side ○ in “Ghosts” we only see interior of Alving’s house ○ in “The Glass Menagerie” we see alleyways, front wall, exterior, interior ○ pure technically capacity w/ increased technology of lighting that through backlighting it seems opaque and then slowly becomes transparent ■ makes stage be exactly like Tom’s mind in the same way you remember something it’s like curtains unfolding (like walls are lifting and taking you back into the memory) ● T om starts in present tense talking to audience and as he talks about taking us back 10 years, wall becomes translucent just like his mind takes him back to the apartment ● visual exposition ○ in “Ghosts” we see one room but in “The Glass Menagerie” we envision the whole apartment ■ lighting can be moved from one stage to the next ○ says specifically only things in the apartment selected realism ○ stage directions describe lighting effects to do with the portrait (expressionism) ● we watch walls of Tom’s memory reveal and go away from apartment (this is departure from realism) externalizing internal memory of Tom ○ “takes whatever license to dramatic convention is convenient to his purposes” ■ first thing Tom says talks about theatricalism ● “yes I have tricks in my pocket...I am opposite of stage magician... I give you truth in pleasant disguise of an illusion” (talks about difference b/w realism & theatricalism) Tom (acknowledges illusion and provides deeper truth than realis) ● “I turn back time” Tom (makes himself as narrator as omnipotent person) ○ just like Aristotle talked about it ○ taking us back to before we saw what was just around the corner (in his case, this being WW2) ■ moder n day thinking: set play in 1998 but narrate from 2005 ○ bears a lot of resembles to Tom Wingfield in the play
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