Characters, Themes and Humour

The following resources focus on the key characters in Nowra's play. Remember that the secondary characters must not be ignored in your analysis - you never know, you might face a question about the female characters in the play, or Doug, or Henry. Do not devote all of your attention to Lewis! Explore the journey of each character and try to understand what has led each character to their current situation in the play - for example, Roy may be a frustrating person, who ultimately is forced to move from ward to ward, but his life experience as an orphan is key to grasping why he is lonely and isolated at the end of the play.

Important themes include love & fidelity, madness/insanity, treatment of the mentally ill, theatre & the power of art, reality v. illusion. What is Nowra saying about each of these themes/issues?

Explore how Nowra uses visual humour, verbal humour and black humour. Imagine yourself in the audience watching a performance of the play - which parts would you laugh at and why?

The Vietnam War ´╗┐Protest Movement

The Vietnam War protest movement both inspired and was inspired by numerous songs that became rallying cries for putting an end to U.S. and Australian involvement in what was seen by many as a foreign or civil war. A sample of these songs have been added below. Listen carefully for the key messages and take note of the associated images. While some of these songs date from the time of the war, others, such as 'Orange Crush', 'Nineteen' and 'I Was Only Nineteen (A Walk in the Light Green)', emerged in the decades following the fall of Saigon.

Sample Essay