How far do you agree with the view that this dialogue is the key to the audience's understanding of Waters' character?

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Rachel Scott

Remind yourself of the dialogue between Price and Waters towards the end of Act 3, beginning at, ‘The Truth. Can I say…’ and ending at ‘Hates no help.’

How far do you agree with the view that this dialogue is the key to the audience’s understanding of Waters’ character?

At the beginning of this dialogue, Price accuses Waters of thinking that the truth is beautiful, that he’s forgotten what it’s like. He compares himself to Waters, ‘When I stand upright – like tonight at that club – I bang my head on the ceiling. Just like you fifty years ago.’ He means this in the way that they can’t express themselves fully, as if they are trapped in a cage. We can tell that what Price is saying is affecting Waters as the stage directions state that (Waters stares at him, blinded.) the word blinded is usually associated with the phrase blinded by the truth. This leads us as the audience to believe that what Price is saying is ringing true to Waters. Price then says, ‘We don’t belong to ourselves.’ I think that here Price means that they, as the working class, are just tools of the government. He then says, ‘Nothing’s changed. You’ve just forgotten that’s all.’ This leads us to believe that things were the same when Waters was young. Throughout Price’s speech here, he is constantly comparing himself to Waters, and it seems to be affecting Waters in a way that makes us think that all of Price’s accusations are true. This helps us to understand Waters’ character in a way that we know how he used to be when he was younger. We know that he embodied the same principles and views as Price.

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        At this point in Price’s speech, Waters begins to pack up his belongings in order to leave, but then Price says something so hard hitting that Waters sits back down ‘heavily’ at the desk, overcome by pain. Price says, ‘Challenor reckons you could have been great…he said you just stopped wanting it.’ Waters then goes on to tell Price what it was that changed him from the ‘Lancashire Lad’, to how he is now. The stage directions tell us that by this time, Waters is ‘Fierce’. I believe that this is because he feels that Price is patronising him when ...

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