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The American Dream Depicted In The Play "The Time Of Your Life"

1178 words - 5 pages

I attended a production of the play entitled The Time of Your life. The play takes place in a San Francisco bar during the year 1939. It studies the personal struggles that are faced by many Americans during this particular time period, and even now. In this critique, I will be focusing on four of the main characters. I will examine the type of character being portrayed, what that character most wants in the play, their most important scene in the play, and the specific acting choices that either helped or hindered the development of their character. I will also address how the plot and production elements of this play, contribute to “The American Dream”, and how I feel that this play would not have worked in another country, but yet, could have worked in another time period.
The first character that I would like to talk about was a representative character named Joe. He represented the wealthy people in society that somehow feel as if they owe the world something. They attempt to give back as much as they possibly can, in order to fill a void within themselves. Through much of the play, Joe is presumed to be mysteriously wealthy. His most important scene involved a conversation with his friend Tom in which Joe states, “If any man has money to throw away, you can be sure that he stole it from another person, I’m no exception.” This statement revealed that Joe may have not literally stole money to gain wealth, but he somehow felt as if he had to step on other people in order to get there, therefore, creating a strong obsession with making people feel happy, and comfortable, regardless of expense. When Joe buys all of the news papers from the newsboy, even though he didn’t care to read them, he helped the audience to determine that he was a selfless, wealthy character, who would do anything in his power to make another persons day.
The second character that I want to address is also a representative character. He played the role of a bar owner named Nick who takes pride in what he owns, no matter how big or small, and enjoys sharing it with other people, in hopes that they cherish it just as much as he does. He represented the hardworking people in society that don’t have much, but enjoy giving what they have. Nicks super-objective in the play was to give others the opportunity, that maybe; no one else would have given them. He gave a wealthy man a place to come and help others, an aspiring comedian a chance to make people happy, and an eager young man a chance to work. His most important scene in the play was when his daughter came into the bar and pointed him out as being her father. This showed the audience that Nick had a life, outside of the bar. It showed that he was not only a bar owner, but a father who also had responsibilities, and issues like many of the characters that he was out to defend and help. The scene in which Nick suggests that the young man who was looking for work, was also hungry, showed the audience that Nick was a...

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