Our Country's Good

The Transformative Power of Drama in Our Country’s Good 11th Grade

Wertenbaker wrote Our Country’s Good in order to depict a developmental process for the characters. Through the Howardian theory of redemption, by learning from each other, and by acting in their production of The Recruiting Officer, they transform into what Phillip calls “members of society again” as they “help create a new society in this colony.” The word ‘transform’ originates from the Latin word ‘transformare,’ meaning literally ‘to change shape or form,’ but normally has connotations of evolving rather than deteriorating. In Act 2 Scene 2, Wisehammer says, “It doesn't matter when a play is set. It’s better if it’s set in the past, it’s clearer” and so, when the word 'transform' is applied to the theatre, it seems to suggest that as the characters physically change their appearance or mannerisms to act their characters in The Recruiting Officer, they equally change their way of thinking. They learn from the play’s history. Therefore, while Wertenbaker truly controls the transformations through his artistry, the characters seem to be transforming and improving themselves of their own accord.

Ralph demonstrates that he follows orders and does what he has to, to try and get out of the colony. In Act 1 Scene 6, he says, “We...

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