‘You know in your heart Joe did it.’ (Act Two)
George is the messenger character. He’s the one who brings the bad news. The truth. The other characters try to placate him, woo him with the past, seduce him with grape juice and food. And because the pull of the past is so strong in the Keller’s back yard, George almost falls for it. As a character, George is like that. It seems that he’s always falling for something, rather than leading the way. This the first time he’s stood up. When Kate slips and tells the truth when she should have told a lie, George rises up. He delivers his truth, which starts the collapse of the Keller’s perfect suburban life.
Activities and Exercises
- Come up with a list of lines of dialogue describing George before we meet him. Describe George physically based on your list. Compare and contrast your description with his actual entrance.
- Ann does not seem overly surprised during her phone call at George’s behaviour, more irritated as if he’s acted like this before. Later on Chris says that George ‘dives’ into things without thinking. Improv a moment between Ann and George, where George’s behaviour is excitable and over the top. George is the older of the two, why does it seem that he is the younger?
- George is described as being on the ‘edge of self-restraint.’ In groups work on George’s lines in Act Two that begin, “My life turned upside down since them.” Each person gets a small chunk. As each individual speaks, they are held down by the other members of the group. How does it feel to perform like that? Which lines make more sense when they are restrained and which need to be out of control?
- Create a scene between George, Chris and Larry before the war. George states in the play that he looked up to Chris. What would that look like in action? Did George follow the brothers around like a puppy? Did he imitate them? Did the brothers ignore him? Tease him? Bully him?
- What was George’s relationship with Lydia like before the war? Was he embarrassed of her? Improv a conversation between them.
Questions To Answer
- What made George decide to go and see his father?
- Why does George believe him now, when he didn’t before?
- Did George decide at the same time as Ann not to talk to their father, or did he do it because she did?
- What was George’s experience during the war?
- What was he like before the war in comparison to what he’s like now? He mentions that Lydia ‘laughed too much.’ How does that reflect his character?
- What is his relationship with Ann like?
- Why did George decide to go into law? Why is he disillusioned with law now?
- How does George view the world?