April 28th, 2015
Each of the characters in the play Proof seems to be attempting to prove something to each other or to themselves.
Catherine is, of course, trying to prove that she wrote the proof, but also perhaps trying to prove to others, as well as to herself, that she’s not going crazy. Catherine also tries to prove to her sister that she is mentally and physically capable of taking care of herself and the home.
Hal, tries to gain Catherine’s trust and prove to her that he cares about her and not the “Proof” or the possibility of stealing things and publishing it as his own. Ex. Catherine suspects Hal is trying to steal her father’s work and pass it off as his own. She finds one of Robert’s old notebooks in his coat and kicks him out and calls the police. Hal calms her down and proves to her that he took the notebook because he found something Robert wrote about her in it and that he was going to give it to her as a birthday present. He begins to prove at this moment that there is a possibility to trust him. He wants her to move with him to New York and tries to prove that he loves her and wants to take care of her. He even suggests options for her mental health.
Claire seemingly is trying to prove that she is right by believing that Catherine gave up her life when she should have put Robert in an institution. She tries to prove that Catherine is not able to keep the house and live by herself. She even uses the Proof as a reason to demonstrate that Catherine is crazy when Catherine says she wrote such a mathematical wonder.
Robert, attempts to prove to his daughter, that she is capable of being as good as he was as a mathematician. The flashbacks or instances of chatting with his deceased spirit reflect his respect for her intellect. He tries to prove to her that she was capable of finishing the Proof by giving her his notes to look at before he died.
The following paragraph from the play...
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