September 26, 2018
Fictional Characters Stuck in Reality
Is there anyone who completely gets you? Someone who knows how you’re feeling based off your facial expressions or can even predict exactly how you would react to a situation? Maybe you think of your best friend but lets say you had to trade places for a day. You try your hardest to smile like them, talk like them, and even react to situations like them. You may think you did a good job imitating your best friend but inevitably you failed to be exactly like them. Due to the simple fact that you and your best friend are your own unique selves. This is the argument that the Six Characters in Search of an Author express. They argue with the Director that they can not be played by actors when the actors only want to portray the Characters and treat their reality as a fictional role.
In the play, the Characters show up to a Director’s rehearsal sort of spontaneously and ask for an author. They beg for him to write their story and the director is puzzled by this because he clarifies that he is not an author but eventually he hears out their story and agrees to make them scenes to turn it into a play.
First and foremost, I believe Pirandello’s fantasy of his characters is very creative and portray a deeper message of the value we hold within our own actions and words and how they make us who we are. He does this through the Characters’ dialogue when they argue with the Director about how they are to be played by actors. The Father Character tells the Director, “How can we understand each other, sir, if, in the words I speak, I put the sense and value of things as they are inside me, whereas the man who hears them inevitably receives them in a sense and value of the world inside him?” (Pg. 20). The Father Character is saying that everyone goes through personal experiences and have different perspectives or outlooks to different things. This doesn’t mean that people can’t relate to one another but it implies that intrinsic meaning differentiates between people. This is significant coming from the Father because Pirandello is portraying that the Characters view themselves as real authentic people who have experiences and underlying motives. This shows that the Characters want to be taken seriously for who they are and they want their experiences to be presented in a story accurately.
Another strong example of the Characters imploring they can not be replaced by actors is when the Father states, “ Well, the performance he will give, even forcing himself with make-up to resemble me, well, with that figure [all the actors laugh] he can hardly play me as I am. I shall rather be— even apart from the face— what he interprets me to be, as he feels I am— if he feels I am anything— and not a I feel inside myself” (Pg. 38). The Father again is describing how the actors can not resemble the Characters with makeup or the right physical features. He is reiterating that he is ...