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Our Country's Good, Plot and Subplot

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Introduction

Scene Four: The Loneliness of Men * They both discuss the women they love, and they are both talking to each other but don't appear to be actually listening to each other. Ralph seems very intent with teaching the convicts a play, and reminds Harry at the end of the scene to make sure he tells His Excellency. Whereas Harry seems very intent with Ralph's reassurance that he doesn't believe Harry killed Handy Baker. I think Harry's main reason for visiting Ralph is to talk to him about the way he feels about Duckling and Handy Baker, and then casually mentions the play. But Ralph is more interested in the play than how Harry feels. Scene Five: The Audition * Lots of different convicts in the prison come to visit Ralph, all for a part in the play. Some characters give personal information to demonstrate their suitability to play a part, and they all approach actually getting a part in the play very differently. * The dialogue provides the humour of the obvious misunderstanding between Meg Long and Ralph. This contributes to expanding our knowledge on Meg Long's character. In addition, Ralph's character is further developed through the information that Meg gives that relate to other people's perceptions of him on the voyage. Sideway also wants a part in the play, but plays a more authoritative and confident character. He's intelligent and knows what he wants. Dabby and Mary then come in as a pair, and it's very obvious to the audience that Dabby is the more dominant friend, whereas Mary is very shy and reserved. Scene Six: The Authoraties discuss the Merits of the Theatre * The authoraties are at dinner and basically discuss the idea of the play. Many are against the play, and many are for the play. Each character explains their reasons for or against the play and the convicts themselves. ...read more.

Middle

We will believe you.' This shows the audience that the convicts are very keen and eager to do the play, and will persist with it no matter what. The show must go on. Scene Two: His Excellency Exhorts Ralph * Ralph is concerned with carrying on with the play as half of the cast are in chains. Phillip understands but tries to convince Ralph to carry on with the play. Ralph is easily influenced and at the end of the scene, he says he will 'lay down his life' for the play. * Phillip is all about the rehabilitation of the convicts. He believes people aren't all bad, and can easily be educated to be good people. This is a very important theme in the play, as the whole idea of doing the play in the first place was to rehabilitate people and bring them together. Ralph is easily influenced by Phillip, constantly saying 'Sir'. Phillip is very much on Ralph's side, and believes the play should go on no matter the amount of superiors that are against it. The scene ends on a high note, suggesting the aim of the play itself will end on a high note. Scene Three: Harry Brewer Sees the Dead * Harry is sitting in his tent drinking a bottle of rum. He speaks in different voices of his tormenting ghosts and then answers his own questions. Duckling then rushes on to see what's the matter with Harry. Harry then pressures her into having sex with him, stops, and asks Duckling a question in an aggressive tone. * Harry has many different conversations with different people. Each topic of conversation is as irritating as the next. Harry then gets very angry and starts manically shouting for Duckling. This shows the audience how mean Harry can be to Duckling, but the way she reacts suggests that it's just normal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Campbell begins laughing at the play, and as it's very against what Ross is saying, Ross shouts at Campbell, which could be humourous for the audience. At the end of the scene, Liz thanks His Excellency in a very intelligent manner, using 'big' words. She doesn't talk in slang. This shows a change from what she used to be like. She has come a long way and has been educated very well. This confirms that the play does rehabilitate people. Scene Eleven: Backstage * The last scene begins with the Aborgine. It slowly drifts off and the actors come on stage. They are getting ready for the play. Everybody's chatting and getting on well, much better than normal. Dabby talks about how she's going to escape to Devon and everyone disagrees. They all eventually talk about their futures, and every body has a much more positive out look on the situation, compared to the beginning. Wisehammer reads his prologue and every one thinks it's good. Everybody is cheerful and happy. * Sideway wants to start his own theatre company, and asks anyone if they'd like to be in it. Wisehammer then makes a dig at Mary, and suggests to her that he write a play about unrequited love; referring to Mary and Ralph. This suggests that maybe he is annoyed because he liked her, or perhaps that he thinks she doesn't actually like him like that. Sideway then talks about how he'll hold auditions tomorrow. Dabby, Duckling, Mary and Liz all repeat 'tomorrow'. They're querying whether or not tomorrow will actually happen. What is over the horizon? Ralph tells Mary how beautiful she looks, and they begin to talk about their own future. He says if they have a girl, it'd be called Betsey Alicia. This suggests that Ralph still isn't properly over her, and wants to remember her for a long time. She may feel rejected. Everyone talks of where they'd like to go and what they'd like to do, suggesting that they do have hope now, and the play has changed the way they think and feel. ...read more.

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