Aunt Dan and Lemon by Wallace Shawn

Fuch's Questions for Aunt Dan and Lemon

1. The world of the play 

The play is mostly based inside - either Lemon's bedroom or Aunt Dan's friend Andy's flat or a restaurant. There are few scenes that take place in a garden of Lemon's parent's house or a night club. The play is based in the 1940/50s and goes back and forth non-linearly based on Lemon's narrative between the present (late 90s) and her memories or Aunt Dan's time in Oxford. The play is based in England on the outskirts of London and sometimes in Oxford - so mostly town-like. 

The climate is mostly dull and dark, even though it is based mostly in the interiors, England does have gloomy weather and the play does mention that Lemon's father chose a place "strangely un-English" and like a swamp near Mississippi - the air was sticky and hot.

The mood kept changing in the play during memories but mostly a seriousness and non empathetic tone towards the fascist topics seemed to be the overall aura. The way characters and scenes changed is mostly depicted by blackouts - which point towards a dark tonality. I am predicting a very heavy bass ish music to complement the tone of the play.  A lot of silence too for the fight and added dramatic turns - a perfect example for maybe sometimes silence sings louder than music. 

2. The social world of the play 

A few characters in the play seem more isolated than the others. Lemon and her father seem more inward and private. Lemon's mother, however, is vocal about her opinions and Aunt Dan seems to be strongly opinionated. Lemon seems to be more influenced by her Aunt than her mother. Aunt Dan is mostly around company. There is tension between Lemon's mother and Aunt Dan and they argue over their difference of opinions. In the memories, however, Aunt Dan seems like an easy-going happy-go lucky woman. Lemon's tone is mostly flowing and logical and very justifying yet not defensive but heavily influenced. 

3. What changes

First Scene : A woman named Lemon sitting on an armchair in a dark room. 

Last Scene : A dark room as at the beginning of the play

Mid Scene : The argument between Aunt Dan and Lemon's mother. The plot moves from friendship to bitterness. 

I shall say this part is hard for me to describe for this play because of it's non-linearity. 

4. Imaginer's view changes - 

Aunt Dan's perception went from a cool aunt to someone justifying the nazis. The play intends to evoke and question whether compassion truly exists. A comparison of extermination camps to killing roaches. I found it confounding that the part where Lemon says - Well, what is this compassion? have you ever felt it? made me realize that maybe I have not felt it either. I saw a man get run over by a train when I was 10 years old on my way to school and I did not look away and his severed arm fell onto the platform and I remember thinking what a stupid man he was for crossing the tracks instead of using the bridges. Was I never taught compassion? 

I guess I would feel compassion when one is suffering and not when one is dead or on the other side of suffering cause it seems to be of no meaning to feel compassion then. I don't know!

5. Theatrical Mirrors

The interesting part about any play is that each person takes away something different from it. Depending on the context and where the person is from and what environments they grew up in factor in a lot of whether I would like, dislike, relate to or be absolutely confused about a play. I was not there during Nazi Germany or the Vietnam war but any acts of violence deem wrong and unnecessary to me. Each character of the play is bringing into perspective a memory or an opinion and questioning it.

6. The pattern

*I need to come back to this*

#Sentences for the play 

1. One simple - The play is about a girl and her Aunt.

2. One complex - The play is about a young girl influenced by her Aunt's stories and opinions who conforms into someone justifying fascism. 

3. 3-5 sentence description - A young girl named Leonara referred to as Lemon born in England who loves to listen to stories by her Aunt - an American friend of her parents. She recalls her Aunt's stories reflecting on her experiences. The play questions our understanding of compassion, leadership and fascism.