Lucy says to Lewis, ‘Working with these people has changed you’, Does Lewis really change at the end of the play’
In the play, ‘Cosi’, by playwright Louis Nowra, the character of Lewis changes through the interactions with the patients in a mental asylum, resulting in a different outlook on the world and towards those around him. The play, set in the milieu of the Vietnam War, Lewis’ political radicalism in supporting Nick reflects his initial social views, his narrow mindness changes throughout the course of the play as Lewis sees the world through the eyes of the patients and becomes more of an empathetic and understanding character who begins to value relationships and people. Firstly, Lewis appears narrow minded and fixed on particular views on the world and people, appears rigid and unable to understand the perspectives of those around him. Secondly, Julie is a catalyst in the play that ignites Lewis to open himself up to love and affection as well as shift from the general consensus that mental patients are almost ‘weird’ and unfit to interact in society. Thirdly, Lewis’ relationship with Henry becomes a turning point in his change in which Henry’s fresh perspective and passionate views on the war, encourage Lewis to similarly think outside the box and come to a stark realization of his own views and beliefs. Finally, the patients injected into Lewis’ life as a whole, impact his social understanding, the people around him and who he truly is as a person and his deeper purpose in life. Nowra maps the transformation and moral awakening of his protagonist Lewis through several key moments that both shape and define his perception on the world.
Lewis is, arguably, an entirely different character at the end of Nowra’s play, with new world views and perspectives, to that of the beginning of the play. Nowra represents Lewis as a conservative, somewhat timid, frame who is fixed on the radical ideologies of the two individuals who have an overriding...
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