October 20, 2014
Six Characters in Search of an Author
Luigi Pirandello wrote the play Six Characters in Search of an Author as a symbol of “the mirror theater,” which is a play that turns a mirror onto the theater itself. In the play, there are six characters (Father, Step-Daughter, Mother, Son, Boy, and Child) who are abandoned by their own author, and are trying to find a new one to continue their drama. The characters barge in on another one of Pirandello’s plays and attempt to stage their unwritten play. The characters completely depend on an author to determine their fate.
To me, this strongly resembles the movie Stranger than Fiction, directed by Marc Forster, written by Zach Helm, and starring Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, Emma Thompson, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. In the movie, Will Ferrell’s character, Harold Crick, begins hearing a voice in his head, who is narrating his life. He pushes this aside for a little bit until it keeps happening. His shrink tells him its schizophrenia. Harold believes this until he meets Karen, played by Emma Thompson, who is the author and narrator of his life. Karen’s writing completely controls Harold’s fate, and they both know this.
Six Characters in Search of an Author and Stranger than Fiction resemble each other through themes. Both in the play and the movie, the main character(s) fate depends on someone else, the author or narrator. In the movie, Harold’s fate depends on Karen. In the play, all six of the characters fates depend on their new author. In both stories, the characters either find out or already know that they are fictional characters, and this impacts them.
Also, for the most part, both the play and the movie are comedies. Although the form of the two may be quite different, the thought and context are very similar. In the movie, Harold is the type of guy to do everything alone and does not socialize a lot. But when he finds out his life is being narrated, he