Essay Number 4
Assignment option number 2: Identify the theme or themes in “Andre’s mother.” Discuss.
Within the play by Terrance McNally, “Andre’s Mother,” there are many different recurring themes. One main theme in the play is accepting and dealing with the death of a loved one. Another main point in the play is forgiveness. Through out the play you see how the characters act upon Andre’s death individually based on their relationship with Andre.
In the play, Andres passes away and in symbol of letting him go his mother, father, sister and his lover Cal, let a white helium filled balloon go into the air. The white helium balloon symbolizes Andre’s departure and represents his spirit rising to heaven. “They represent the soul. When you let it go, it means you’re letting his soul ascend to heaving” (Cal page 737). Cal, the main character and Andre’s mother have the toughest time letting go of the helium balloons while Penny (his sister) and Andre’s Father let go of the balloons with no problem.
Andres’ mother never knew that Andre was gay, and that Cal was his lover. When Cal was letting his balloon go, as he stands next to Andre’s mother he started talking to it, acting as though it was Andre. When he was talking he was mentioning about the relationship between Andre and his mother and how Cal constantly pressed Andre to reveal their homosexual ties to his mother.” If this hadn’t happened I wonder if he would have ever told you. When he was sick, if I asked him once I asked him a thousand times, tell her. She’s your mother” (Cal page 737). Cal also mentions how he knows he never thought that his mother would accept him and Andre. Andre had a fear of the disapproval of his mother and was scared to hurt her, which caused him to be so distant from his mother in order to save her the pain. “ God, how many of us live in the city because we don’t want to hurt our mothers and live in moral terror of their disapproval” (Call page 737)....
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