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Written by Nicola Francisc
The death of a gerenation
Sarah Ironson’s death can be seen as a metaphorical event. The description of the funeral appears in the beginning of the play and it is a metaphor that stands for the death of a better generation. The Rabbi who stands beside her coffin admits that there are few good people like Sarah was, thus hinting that the world is changing at a rapid pace and that the changes are not always positive.
The idea model
In the scene where Louis talks with Emily about Prior, he mentions La Reine Mathilde who was known for her devotion to William the Conqueror. He then compares his relationship with Prior and the fact that he is thinking about leaving him with the perfect example of devotion. By giving this example and by comparing Louis and Prior’s relationship with the fictional relationship between Mathilde and William the Conqueror, Louis wants to express the feelings of guilt and shame he fells because he thinks that he will not be able to stand by his lover until the end. The comparison offers a glimpse into the internal battle that takes place in Louis’ s mind and the guilt he experiences as a result of his conflicting feelings.
The death of a family
The character Prior can be seen as having a metaphorical value. It is mentioned that Prior comes from a wealthy family, a family that is stable and coming from a prestigious lineage. When Prior became a homosexual and what is more, when he was diagnosed with AIDS, prior became a metaphor for the death of a generation. With him, the once prestigious Mayflower family is going to die as he had no children and his life expectancy was short as a result of he being infected with AIDS.
For Roy, Washington is the ultimate metaphor for power and influence. Because of this, he tries to convince Joe to accept the job offer that will take him to Washington and also gets furious when he refuses to go, assuming that since he refuses to go to Washington, he is also a weak man who doesn’t care about power and is good for nothing.
Roy is presented as being the harshest character in the play. He doesn’t care about ethics and is willing to sacrifice everything o have more power. But his perception and his ideas change rapidly when he realizes that the power and money he has will not be able to save him from death and disease. For him, AIDS is a metaphor that is linked with his process of humanization because when he is faced death, he becomes human and expresses his fear and regret. Because of this, AIDS and disease is a metaphor for his internal transformation from a heartless person to an emotional human being.
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A recurrent motif in the play is the presence of supernatural phenomenon and supernatural beings. For example, Harper and Prior met in a dream while they both think that the other person is a fragment of their imagination: Harper believes that...