Tender Mercies Essay, Research Paper
Tender Mercies, written by Horton Foote, is a screenplay, which presents to the reader ordinary people, who are trying to live decently in an unpredictable and violent world. The reader comes to be aware of many dramatic scenes where the central characters have come to experience many complex but yet fascinating situations in their lives. Reading this screenplay the reader will come to acknowledge one of the centralized themes in Tender Mercies, which is the theme of redemption. For those who are unaware of the word, redemption as it applies to the screenplay Tender Mercies is the literary word meaning to be saved or saving someone from an experience or a situation. The reader can observe this redemption at various times through many characters, such as: Mac, Rosa Lee, Sunny, and Dixie. Each one of these characters has been redeemed by other characters or has been the redeemer of other characters. Thus, in the paragraphs to proceed, the reader will be introduced to these exact characters and to the situations from which these characters were redeemed from or whom they had redeemed. Alongside, the reader will also come to recognize how this theme provides the clearest reason why Tender Mercies is neither a Tragedy nor Pathos.
As mentioned above, one of the centralized themes in Tender Mercies is the theme of redemption and that it can be seen through many characters, of whom is Mac. In the beginning of this screenplay, Mac is viewed as a person with a drinking disorder. In other words, he was an alcoholic. He would drink continuously, being unaware of the hurt he caused to his loved ones. He drank more and more as he tried to run away from his problems; he believed that drinking was the only factor that solved his problems. As he continued to drink on a regular basis, he lost everything from his wife and daughter to his career as a singer. Fortunately, Rosa Lee, who is another character through which the reader sees the theme of redemption, redeemed him. Rosa Lee gave him a job, a place to stay, and most importantly a family. Out of everyone Mac knew, Rosa Lee was the only one who gave him a chance to start over, a chance to rebuild. With Rosa Lee s and her son Sunny s help, Mac was able to emerge, as a sober, clean man with the willingness to achieve responsibility. It was as if a caterpillar had died and had emerged as a butterfly. With their help, Mac had the ability to recognize life by becoming sober and starting all over. He, thus, learns that Rosa Lee, his new wife, and Sunny, his stepson, are way too important to him to ever start drinking again. Being acquainted with such a situation and how Mac was given another chance to start over his life, the reader, thus, has come to see an of redemption.
As Mac s redemption is acknowledged, the reader comes to see another act of redemption. Before Mac s arrival to the gas station, Rosa Lee and Sunny were all alone. Rosa Lee lacked a husband because Sunny s father had died many years ago. Thus, both Rosa Lee and Sunny were left isolated in a town where they knew no one else but themselves. Upon Macs arrival and willingness to change and to commit him to responsibilities, Rosa Lee and Sunny were redeemed as well. Having been isolated in the middle of no where, Rosa Lee and Sunny needed Mac as much as Mac needed them. Having no man in her life, Rosa Lee had willingly accepted Mac s hand in marriage. Doing so, she had been redeemed of being alone as she always was and having no one to love and no one to be loved by. Furthermore, Sunny had gotten a father figure for himself. The reader also sees Sunny s approval of Mac, when Sunny fights with the other kids at school when they taunted him about Mac. When Sunny fought for Mac the reader comes to comprehend that Mac is a good person. Having a father figure, Sunny was now able to do many things, such as playing ball with someone he was able to refer to as dad and with someone who loved him so dearly. Being acquainted to such a situation and how both Rosa Lee and Sunny benefited on Mac s arrival to the gas station, the reader has come to view another act of redemption.
The reader can see another act of redemption when Mac and his daughter try to redeem their lost relationship. Even though, Mac s daughter wanted to redeem her relationship with her father, it s important to make note that it was mainly for the wrong reasons. One reason why it was important for Mac s daughter to redeem their relationship was because she wanted to get approval for her seeing a man that her mother disapproved of. Another reason was so that she can get money from her father after she runs off with her new boyfriend because she knew that she would be unable to get money from her mother. Unfortunately, Mac was unable to get very close to his daughter as he had in mind because his daughter had been found dead. Although, this kind of redemption was for the wrong reasons and that it lasted for only a short while, the reader once again has come to view and acknowledge another form and act of redemption.
As the reader has been familiarized with just a few of the situations, in which redemption is one of the centralized themes, the reader also comes to conceive why this theme provides the clearest reason why Tender Mercies is neither Tragedy nor Pathos. The reader speculates this because the reader sees nothing related to a fall of pride. Actually, the reader comes to see many catastrophes that have been made reversible. Basically, in this screenplay whenever there was a fall, the characters were able to get back up and continue their lives. for example, the screenplay did nothing to trivialize Mac s daughter s death. Her death had little effect on the course of her father and other s lives. Her death just made everyone that knew her very emotional. As a matter of fact, as Mac s daughter died, Mac and Sunny got even closer with one another.