Thursday, December 6, 2007

Play - Death Valley/Nevada Border

“The town was on a dry river bed between Death valley and the Nevada line. Carter and BZ and Helene and Susannah Wood and Harrison Porter and most of the crew did not think of it as a town at all, but Maria did: it was larger than Silver Wells. Besides the motel, which was built of cinder block and operated by the wife of the sheriff’s deputy who patrolled the several hundred empty square miles around the town, there were two gas stations, a store which sold fresh meat and vegetables one day a week, a coffee shop, a Pentecostal church, and the bar, which served only beer” (187)

What parallels can be drawn between Maria’s emptiness, the shallowness of Carter, Helene and company’s lifestyle and the desert landscape? The desert is Maria’s home (she is both “at home” in the empty landscape, and it is her literal homeland), yet Maria seems more isolated here than anywhere. Could this relate to her feeling present in her past, but not able to access it (disconnect to her family—human connections)? BZ’s death could be a possible rewriting of her mother’s (where she lacked closure). How does BZ’s death affect her? Is it the closure she never had with her mother, or a continuation of the cycle?

Are the people that Maria associates with part of what makes her so self-destructive? Do they offer her real help, or are they too superficial to help make her better? Do they genuinely want to help her or do they feel obliged? Do you see Maria as ungrateful, or does she somehow know better than to maker herself vulnerable to her “friends”? Maria can play along for a while, but at a certain point, she is not able to sustain the lifestyle maintained by Carter and Helene. Does this make them resent her? By resenting her, does that make her even more repressed, or is that self-generated? Their lifestyle is supposed to be a remedy for her depression, but it seems to only make it worse.

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