Analysis of Andre’s Mother by Terrence McNally
The play, Andre’s Mother, by Terrence McNally is a story about accepting death and is based in a story about a young man who died before telling his mother that he was gay; leaving the man’s partner to break the news and to inform the mother about how much he missed seeing her and his fear of being rejected by her, in the time before his death. The theme of this story is to live life everyday with no regrets. Throughout the symbols and references you begin to understand the life of Andre. The white balloon represents letting go and leaving a young man in peace. The silence of his mother shows that she never accepted his sexual preference. While Hamlet references the struggles of his everyday life. The white balloon in the play Andre’s Mother is a symbol of Andre’s soul. Cal speaks about the white balloons saying, “They represent the soul. When you let go, it means you’re letting his soul ascend to Heaven, that you’re willing to let go. Breaking the last earthly ties”(McNally 737). Andre is saying that the white balloons are Andre’s soul and that when you release them, you’re willing to let go of all the wrong and let him rest in peace. Penny, Cal’s sister, and Arthur, Cal’s dad let go of the balloon without hesitation. After releasing their balloons Cal reluctantly admits, “I’m not ready yet”(McNally 737). This is because Cal still couldn’t let go and still had regrets. The balloon being white represents purity. Letting go of the white balloon meant that after all that was said, Andre was now clear and pure again. I believe that white balloon represented letting go of Andre and letting his soul rest in peace with no regrets and nothing left unsaid. Andre’s mother’s silence throughout the play proved to us she did not accept her son’s homosexuality. Cal tells Andre’s mother how much Andre missed her and longed for her acceptance. He gets finished with his rant and still no response from Andre’s mother. Cal gets mad...
Cited: McNally, Terrence. “Andre’s Mother.” Literature for Composition: Essays, Stories, Poems and Plays. Eds. Sylvan Barnet. William E. Cain. William Burto. Boston: Longman 2011. 736-738. Print
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