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What is significant about the way David Hare ends "Skylight"?

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Introduction

What is significant about the way David Hare ends "Skylight"? "Skylight" by David Hare is a post 1914, post Thatcher drama, dealing with matters of life, love and circumstance. It is set in a small, well lived in, flat, Northwest London, where Kyra, a middle aged, self-reliant teacher, lives. Tom, a guilt ridden, controlling, entrepreneur, randomly appears, at Kyra's doorstep. He casually invades her privacy, wanting to rekindle past love, when success was his, after a three-year separation. The stubborn pair hold the stage for the entire 2 1/2 hours tearing away at each other's deceptions and hypocrisies, except for brief but significant, visit's by Tom's rebellious, insecure, son Edward. This play is very contemporary, dealing with issues relevant at the time. The time is post Thatcher, although Tom still is part of the Conservative, right wing system, working for himself. Kyra, on the contrary, is a left wing, labour supporter, who helps other people. Tom is not able to put passion before political values, whereas Kyra is. David Hare structures the play quite effectively, using 2 acts and 4 scenes. The play is detailed, and probes the depths of intimacy between the 4 characters-one of whom is Alice, who we never see, but whose presence is always lurking in the form of guilt. ...read more.

Middle

He put his hand through her hair.' Tom: 'Kyra, Kyra I'm back.' 'He runs his hand over and over through her hair. The lights fade to darkness.' Food is all show, it is formal, controlled and has a strict set of rules. Tom likes food precisely because of the order, he can't bear anything that isn't controlled by money, which is why he blames other people when he lets out his feelings, (pg.52) Tom: 'Edward was as bad...he failed just as badly. In a different way. I came home, six friends of his lying on the floor, drinking Heineken. Drugs. Shit.' Tom uses food to hide behind, (pg.39) Kyra:' Will you grate the cheese?' Tom:'...I wouldn't give this greasy lump of crud to my cat...Are you really living like this? Why didn't you say? For God's sake, I have this supplier...' Tom uses this example to show how upset he is that Kyra chose a poorly paid, job above the rich, extravagant life she could have had with him. He doesn't understand that Kyra actually likes being a teacher, he doesn't understand her vocation. When Tom says 'I have this supplier', it really upsets Kyra, because she hates the way Tom uses money to get round things, and she feels that Tom is pitying her, saying that her life would be better if she had him. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Tom came back, all the memories of the forgotten past are dredged up, and while Kyra makes the food, each memory becomes clearer, and clearer. They argue, passionately, more, and more until everything hurtful has been said, and there is nothing left to do other than say 'goodbye', because they both know that nothing could be more different than themselves. Edward finishes the play, by bringing what Kyra remembered from the days with Tom as a happy time. Tom wanted to stay with Kyra, not just because he loves her, but because he needed someone to comfort him because really, underneath all those outer barriers of clothes and anger, is a very lonely person, screaming with self-pity, anguish and guilt. In losing Kyra, Tom has lost pretty much everything that matters to him. The breakfast at the end is so meaningful because it shows how Edward is the New Hope, he can change and be a better person than his father. The breakfast reinforces the issue that Edward may not be as rich or as business like as his father, but he will definitely be more loved and respected. David Hare wants the audience to grasp the lifestyle of the characters, but also how they link to the lifestyles of everyday people, how none of us have normal lives and we all have such different understandings and concepts. No one can ever change anyone else; they can only change themselves. Ruth Knox February 2003 ...read more.

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