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Analysis Of Andre´S Mother By Terrance Mc Nally

1046 words - 5 pages

In “Andre’s Mother” by Terrance McNally a family is departing their loved one, Andre who died of AIDS. Andre is homosexual with a boyfriend Cal who he kept secret from his mother. The setting of this play late 1980’s in New York City, a time period were homosexuality was not accepted throughout society and demonized as to being the root of the HIV/AIDS disease. Art forms responded to this problem much like this play did. Andre’s Mother never knew his secret and never made her own verbal stance on it. The symbols – language used, hamlet, and the white balloon -throughout this play show that McNally is persuading his audience to accept homosexuality and AIDS.
Language in this play or lack thereof changes the entire mood and theme of the play. The use of Andre’s Mother lacking language and only giving actions persuades the audience to accept Andres’ secret like his mother does. “Her lips tremble. She looks on the verge of breaking down. She is about to let go of the balloon when she pulls it down to her. She looks at it awhile before she gently kisses it.”(McNally 3) Her actions noted in the stage direction shows her acceptance of Andre in any form that he is. At this part of the play when she learns his secret she still respects him and shows him love by kissing the balloon. “Cal: I wish I knew what you were thinking. I think it would help me…When he was sick if I asked him once I asked him a thousand times, tell her. She’s your mother. She won’t mind.”(McNally2) Andre and Cal always talked about Andre’s fear to voice to his mother that he was homosexual due to her narrow-minded views. Without actually knowing what Andre’s Mother was thinking the love of her son was greater than any disapproval of his sexuality. Penny Cal’s sister brings light to the bad situation. She openly accepted Cal and Andre’s relationship and embraced them with love. Cal’s sister Penny was very close with Andre as she mentioned during the memorial she said, “Andre loved my sense of humor. Listen you can hear him laughing. So long you glorious wonderful… man.”(McNally1) In her lines she is the joyful and optimistic piece of the play but she also offers insight on the typical thoughts of the society. “Does the pope know about this” (McNally1). The presence of Catholicism during the 19th Century was growing. In this religion homosexuality is seen as a sin. Penny’s language commenting on the popes’ awareness shows the opposition to Andre and his lover from society and its religion. “Arthur: They still make good humor? Penny: Only now they’re called Dove Bar and they cost twelve dollars.”(McNally2) The difference between Good Humor and the Dove Bar, first the name. Good Humor the typical all American chocolate ice cream bar cheap and so sweet so innocent and so very young and playful. The dove bar a new foreign ice cream bar much more expensive and with a sexy and dangerous advertisement. The change in the society noted by this language used....

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