The characters in the play are Tracy and Sam, they are both friends, little old lady, Harassed women, unpleasant man and Jason. The characters are divided into 2 groups and that is unpleasant man on his own, because he doesn’t want to listen to any one,’ he wants to do whatever he wants and that is to smoke in the train but the other people on the train are telling him that he shouldn’t smoke . He doesn’t listen and those people that are trying to tell him that is not allowed are little old lady, Sam, Tracy, Jason, Harassed women. First the little old lady argues with unpleasant man then the rest try to help the little old lady and that’s how the characters are divided, the unpleasant man against everyone else. The actions of the characters shows tension and conflict is when the little old lady argues with the Unpleasant man shows tension in the play because it makes the play worth while drama and this is shown in the play when the unpleasant man says “ And you think yourself lucky you’re an old women “. He says this to the little old lady, the little old lady says something back to get attention, she says “NO, you think yourself lucky I’m an old women “.This shows that the man is trying to threaten the little old lady and this builds tension. The stage direction builds tension because it tells you what is happening and also what the characters are doing and saying. “The silence is long. Unease grows”. This shows that the stage direction also builds up tension when it is quiet. The writer is effective when he tries to build tension when it is quiet because it makes the play more interesting to read and the audience won’t get bored because the play is getting good and people like when something that is boring at first and then turns out to be good, makes the reader want to read more.
The authors notes at the start are explaining that this play is strictly not about race and is all based on the issue of no smoking in the underground. The author became worried about the play because in those days the race tension was really high, and thought that the director would face difficulty choosing characters for this play .He did have difficulty choosing characters for the play because if he had picked a black student to take part in the play then people will see the play as racist and in 1980 society used to judge people because of there race. “If a black student plays the anti-social character it is interpreted as a statement about race not as a fact of life”. This shows that in the 1980 society judged people because of their race. For example if there where to watch a play about real life situation and a black student is taken part then they would see the play as racist not about life situation .I think it doesn’t have an effect on the way the play is read and performed because at the start of the play the author tells you that the play is not going to be about race, it’s going to be about life situation. The reader will know what the play is going to be about and they won’t have any problems reading it and they will have some ideas about how the play is going to be performed.
I think when the characters ague or fight and the no smoking sign makes the play interesting for people to watch because in the begging of the play it was boring because it didn’t have any action but if it did then it would have been interesting for people to watch but it was good because at the start it didn’t have any action , it was all quiet and you would know that something is going to happen and that why the audience would carry on watching it because the play is going to be good but if it wasn’t then nobody would watch it , they wouldn’t find it interesting . Wesker puts a no smoking sign in the train because so people will know that something is going to happen and it did, in the play the little old lady argues with the unpleasant man because he was smoking and in the train you are not allowed and the little old lady was trying to tell the man that smoking is not allowed but he didn’t listen to her, he just ignored her. This shows that in the 1980 people didn’t respect old people at that time but children did respect old people.