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Consider the representation of 'underdogs' in Silence by Moira Buffini, Kosher Harry by Nick Grosso and Scaramouche Jones by Justin Butcher.

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Introduction

Danielle Abulhawa Dra -1003 Consider the representation of 'underdogs' in Silence by Moira Buffini, Kosher Harry by Nick Grosso and Scaramouche Jones by Justin Butcher If you were to look up the word 'underdog' in the dictionary you would probably be met with such definitions as this, which is taken from the Cambridge dictionary "A person or group of people who have less power, money, etc. than the rest of society, or (in a competition) the person or team considered to be the weakest and the least likely to win." I feel that the 'underdog' within a text can be a single character or an entire faction of people. It is certainly very interesting to see how the three playwrights have chosen to represent these characters. We usually feel a great deal of empathy towards the 'underdog' whenever they are present. Viewing the differences and similarities in the ways the three playwrights have represented the underdog character, it is easier to distinguish their more illicit meanings within the plays. I will be examining these representations and trying to seek out any of the themes which are linked completely with these characters, hopefully I can understand further how each method of representation can influence an audience's understanding and which method works best in conveying an opinion. ...read more.

Middle

The cabbie, the waitress, the man, and the old lady are all so contemptuous of certain other people whom they make reference too; we see them as ignorant and dismal. The only characters we might feel some sympathy or even empathy for are the off-stage characters, those that are the subject of most of the conversation throughout the play. The waitress talks about another waitress who used to work at kosher Harry's, she says "well I called her gladiola I mean her real name was bratislavan or something I mean I couldn't say it I can hardly say brata bleeding slava" she also labels the new, foreign waitress with this same comical name. Then we see the cabbie making comments about "these Jews" and then talking about his son who "shares a class with a fucking paki". It could be viewed that these speaking characters themselves are the underdogs, they lead very mundane lives and have little more to talk about than a few highly racist, sexist or just generally non- p.c. ramblings, on the other hand you could say that characters like 'Gladiola' and 'Poppadom' who are merely spoken about within the text, are the real underdogs of the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is especially difficult to determine the representation of underdogs because the term can be ambiguous, particularly in Kosher Harry, Scaramouche Jones and Silence. All three playwrights aim to give voice to an oppressed party, in very different ways. What I have realised is that by making a character appear as an underdog in the eyes and ears of the receiver does create empathy for them instantly and this is a very effective way to create sympathy for a particular cause, theme or political belief.. In Kosher Harry, Nick Grosso seems to almost challenge our role as a receiver by forcing us to think more carefully about who is most unfortunate. In Scaramouche Jones, Justin Butcher seems to create a distancing affect for the receiver forcing us to think about the themes of the play not merely sympathise with a character. Whilst in Silence, Moira Buffini aims to emotionally attach the receiver to a character whom we can relate to personally. If we consider that the role of the underdog within all three plays is to convey some other theme, then whichever style of representation a playwright may choose, in order to convey an idea or belief, the successfulness of this transference is in fact dependant on those who are receiving it. ...read more.

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