Analysis Of "The More The Merrier" By Stanley Kauffmann

1405 words - 6 pages

Stanley Kauffmann's play "The More the Merrier" begins with the two main characters Emily Stringer and Raphael Thumbs professing their love to each other and agreeing to marry. They were so enamored to one another that Raphael wanted the wedding to take place immediately that night or the following day but to which Emily countered because it was so soon. She still had to shop for a trousseau and the banns (declarations made in church) that take three weeks to complete. Raphael then expressed his desire to begin a new life "cut off from everyone else" to which Emily agreed. It was only when he uttered his yearning to "cut loose from the past" that Emily began to question what it was that he ...view middle of the document...

Emily then retorted that she had thousands of ties and that she would marry the man she loves, Raphael. While debating on how intertwined their lives were that extracting one from the other was impossible, another visitor knocked on the door. Simon tried to dissuade Emily from opening the door as it would further complicate their lives but Emily did not comply.The visitor turned out to be another mutual friend, Vesta Frimpole. Vesta then got to her knees and asked Simon to marry her and professed her desire to turn a new leaf.Both Simon and Emily countered to this because of the impossibility of clean starts since there were too many ties and people involved. Raphael then entered the room and with the sight of Vesta, he came to the conclusion that there really was no escape from the past and thereafter affirmed his love for Emily. As the pair reconciled, there was again another knock on the door. The two pairs, out of fear for another common acquaintance set out to complicate their lives, dashed out of the room intending to escape and further locking their past lives. The play ends with the two characters chatting with each other, apparently another common acquaintance of the two couples and, coincidentally, also previously engaged with each other.The main characters in this play are Emily Stringer, Raphael Thumb, Simon Latchflake and Vesta Frimpole. The conflict in the play started with Simon's arrival because it was only then that Raphael and Emily had to face the social dilemma. Raphael then had to face his real motives for wanting to marry Emily. All characters were obviously suffering from acute want to escape from their past lives with the erroneous belief that this would happen by marrying each other. Simon's contribution to the conflict was by far the greatest as he set the mode of the dilemma that was otherwise not apparent to the pair in the beginning of the play. For an ordinary reader, the capriciousness of Emily and Raphael about their desire to live in seclusion away from their past in the beginning of the play would not strike as totally odd and could even be considered as a normal case between a deeply in loved couple who wanted to enjoy each other's company with no disturbance whatsoever. However, with Simon's entrance and his similar manifestation of such escapist tendencies and, with the appearance of Vesta, the reader begins to make assumption that this was no longer an isolated case but an endemic disease of irrationality circulating in the area. With the exception of Emily who appeared to be pretty rational in most instances, all of the three characters were deeply engrossed in their obsession to break free from their past lives.What the playwright is trying to say to his audience is that while marriage indeed marks the start of a new life for the couple, it is only so insofar as the...

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