Thursday Evening by Morley Analysis

Topics: Mother-in-law, Marriage, Christopher Morley Pages: 5 (1807 words) Published: June 8, 2013
The excerpt under analysis is taken from a play "Thursday Evening" written by Christopher Morley. He was born in 1890. He is an American author, received unusual recognition early in his career. Among his widely known novels are "Kitty Foyle" and "The Trojan Horse".

The subject matter of the excerpt is a quarrel between Laura and Gordon, a married couple, they have to struggle through and a common mother-in-law stereotype, which Christopher Morley opposes the with two very likable and charming women.

The plot is developed on the basis of conflict between different set of values, Laura’s and Gordon’s, due to their different social background.
The organization of the contents is straight-narrative presentation, because the events are given in their chronological order.
As for the type of narration, dialogs of the main characters are interwoven with the author’s remarks, where description of their actions, the way they do something and atmosphere are presented.
The excerpt is presented in a 1st person singular, which is typical for a play. It is written in highly emotional, humorous and occasionally ironical key. The author tells us some information about main heroes at the very beginning to let us see that they are just an ordinary family(couple). He uses mostly direct method of characterization ( his remarks), and we easily see what people they are.

The text can be divided into 3 logical parts: the quarrel, a treaty peace between 2 mothers and reconciliation. As for the exposition, which is given in author’s note, we learn that the scene is set in the small kitchen of the modest suburban home of Mr and Mrs Gordon Johns. A meal has recently been cooked and Laura has served a dinner for four as both the grandmothers are visiting. Both husband and wife are washing up. They are in good humor at first but every time one or the other refers to his or her mother the atmosphere becomes tense. A fierce conflict breaks out between Laura and Gordon when he begins hunting for the plate with a lot of perfectly good stuff he saved. Although Gordon was also slighted by the fact that Junior (their son) drank out of Laura’s mother’s cup, he took great pains to avert a gathering storm. That’s why at the beginning of the 1st part the atmosphere is tense. The author enhances the desired effect with the help of metaphor in his remark, characterizing the way of Gordon behavior: his fuse also is rapidly shortening. A great force of conviction is achieved due to the vivid stylistic coloring of the language of the characters. Gordon always points to Laura being wasteful and to show his feelings the author makes use of the anadiplosis: My Lord, it's no wonder we never have any money to spend if we chuck half of it in waste. Waste! Look at that piece of cheese and those potatoes. It seems that the author treats the matter with irony, as in his remark he uses periphrasis various selections for discarded food. He also reveals his own attitude to the main characters and the whole situation through the usage of straight characteristic and simile at the same time like a fool in his remark. Gordon is tired of work and he can’t stand Laura’s extravagance, to show it Morley resorts to the simile: It makes me wild to think of working and working like a dog and metaphor: throwing away money. The repetition of the phrase“Look at this, just look at it!” carries a heavy stylistic weight. The author employs a very picturesque epithet grisly, disgusting to represent the facts of reality more vividly. To express Laura’s feelings Morley uses parallel construction: you attend to your affairs and I’ll attend to mine. The spouses break off each other in mid-sentence: Your mother – Of course, I wasn’t an only daughter – Oh, this is too absurd - Now listen –. Aposiopesis, as well as interjections Great Scott, my Lord , direct address: Gordie, Creature, my gracious, darling, ducky, elliptical sentences: The expectant mother-in-law! Very sensible. Splendid....
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