Analysis of Alan Ayckbourn’s Mother Figure:
Dramatist: Alan Ayckbourn
Characters: Lucy (Mother Figure)
Rosemary (Terry’s wife)
Harry (Lucy’s husband)
Critically analyze the drama ‘Mother Figure’.
Mother Figure is a drama which is written by the American dramatist, Alan Ayckbourn. He spent his early days studying and observing examples of the ‘well made play’ as well as acknowledged both ancient and modern pieces of drama, believes that a playwright is essentially grafts-man. As a dramatist, Ayckbourn is essentially a chronicler and editor of human behavior. The present play ‘Mother Figure’ includes the picture of a mother who deliberately isolates herself from the outside world and can only communicate through the language of infancy: and the marries couple who are also moving into isolation from each other.
This one act play is set on a suburban room in the late evening. The play is based on the single event, that is, the topic of husband’s phone call. All the activities move around that call. In this sense, this play maintains the unity of time, place and action.
The central character of this play is Lucy who has been presented as mother figure of this play. Her motherly role can be justified in the following points:
The language used by Lucy is limited to baby talk. The expressions like choccy bics, Georgie porgie pudding and pie, botty, tooth pegs are the examples of the child-based language. She speaks the language that the mothers use while dealing with the children. The dialogues are comparatively shorter and simpler which can be used by children. This type of language used in this play what shows is that Lucy is a major character and sign of ‘Mother Figure’.
Lucy presents herself as the mother figure through the care and affection. She shows the love and affectionate behavior towards her neighbours for Terry and Rosemary. She cares what they would like to drink. Moreover, she wishes for their happiness. The expression blooming-kids shows two things at the same time. Firstly, she regards Rosemary and Terry as the kids and secondly she wishes for their prosperity and well-being. Personally her (Lucy) life is not happy because she is loneliness and all of the loaded of the household action. And she has been distanced from her husband. She has a chance to restore but she does not care about the personal happiness rather she cares about the happiness of other. She has been suffered but she does not want to give suffer to other. She herself does not have the good relationship with her husband. But she wants Rosemary and Terry to be in the good relationship and she tries her best to bring the happiness in life. And this selfless affection has established her as the mother figure in the drama written by Ayckbourn.
- Order and Obedience:
The chain of the order and obedience has also established Lucy as the mother figure. She commands Rosemary and Terry as if a mother commands her children. She has maintained the control and power over Rosemary and Terry. But motherhood is also based on the mutual relationship. Lucy gives command and Rosemary and Terry show the unique obedience with Lucy as a childish obedience. They had the chance that they could disobey with Lucy. Despite that chance, they carry out each and every order that she has given. Two evidences show that Rosemary and Terry have also accepted her in the role of the mother figure. From the text
Lucy: You try-you just dare try, my boy.
Terry: All right.
Terry: Look, I don’t want to … just give me the key, there’s a good …….
Lucy: Not until the apologize to rosemary.
Terry: Oh, for the love of ………. All right (to rosemary) sorry.
Lucy: Say it nicely.
Terry: I’m very sorry, Rosie. Now give us the key, for God’s sake.
This play challenges the traditional definition of mother and establishes the new concept of maternity. It is not only the biological process but also the process of emotionality. Lucy has become their mother out of emotion, care and affection.