Character Struggle in Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author
In Six Characters in Search of an Author, Pirandello sets out to prove that the subjective is inescapable. He proposed that human beings are isolated from one another, and can never communicate the full truth of their identity to each other. The play portrays various power struggles, between the Characters and Actors, and amongst the Characters themselves.
The Characters battle for the stage, in order to impose their view of reality and experience on the others. The Stepdaughter wants to possess the stage to allow the full communication of her experience, but the Father argues one of the key points of the play:
“And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.”
In other words, the receiver of the communication will project his or her own values onto what is being said. The play's purpose is to depict the irresolvable nature of this dilemma.
Pirandello used this play to depict a scenario where the manager would misinterpret and distort the play against the author's intentions. He satirizes this scenario at several points in the play, first when the Manager complains, "I never could stand rehearsing with the author present. He’s never satisfied.” This expresses the conflicts involved while making the transition from writing to performance. At the same time though, he accepts that the theatre cannot accommodate the full complex truth of a situation, when the Stepdaughter argues over the precise wording of her lines, and when the scenery is being prepared for the brothel scene: Manager: (to the Property Man)Just have a look, and see if there isn’t a sofa or a divan in the wardrobe… Property Man: There's the green one.
Stepdaughter: No, no! Green won’t do. It was yellow, ornamented with...