At the beginning of Louis Nowra’s play, Cosi, protagonist Lewis Riley holds views that are consistent with society in 1970. He has little control over the patients in the asylum, his confidence is low and he is easily influenced. Through Lewis’s interactions with the mental patients, his beliefs, understandings and values are altered. This transformation can be described as admirable as Lewis now holds views that are distinctly different from the society that surrounds him.
In control of self
Through the play, Lewis’s motives for directing the Opera change. Initially, Lewis is directing the Opera because he ‘needs the money’ but his relationships and exposure to the patients allows Lewis to realise how important Cosi Fan Tutte is for their wellbeing. Lewis first comes to this realisation when the ‘experiment’ is deemed as ‘over’ by Justin. Cherry speaks up and claims that ‘it was me! Doug isn’t to blame. I dropped a ciggie down the toilet’. Lewis is asked to confirm this and noticing Cherry, Roy and Doug’s desire to continue, Lewis reinforces the lie. Another situation that shows us a change of purpose in Lewis is when his girlfriend, Lucy, arrives and questions him about attending the moratorium meeting. Lewis stays for rehearsals, claiming that ‘they need me’. This response shows that Lewis no longer sees directing the play as a source of money, he now sees it as something that is important for the patients in the asylum, which can be defined as remarkable because although opposing forces suggested that a play on love and fidelity was unfit for the time period as love was considered unimportant and merely an ‘emotional indulgence for the privileged few’, Lewis went ahead and directed the play for the benefit of the neglected patients in the asylum, showing a developed strength in character.
Furthermore, Lewis also develops in his ability to deal with other people. In Act 1, Lewis is introduced to the mental patients and he appears very