’s Wake Essay, Research Paper
What did the ending mean to me and how I would have changed it.
The ending of a play can be one of purpose, one that leaves you with a sense of completion and fulfillment. In the play ?Jacob?s Wake? the ending was, to say the least, odd. I didn?t really get a sense that the ending belonged to the play. The whole time during the play I was waiting for things to turn around in the family, then all of a sudden the ghost came into play. Though I wasn?t much of a fan of the whole play, I did think the ending could have been done a little better.
I thought the ending was trying to portray how things were going to be turned around and that the family was going to work together. Having said this, I think the ending that the director said he was going to leave the play at would have been worse. If the play ended where Rose threw the glass at Winston, I would have left the play completely disappointed. Throughout the whole play, it was the same redundant story line where basically family members would argue. I wouldn?t have felt that I had seen the ending if nothing seemed to change. I felt that even though the ending seemed to just come out of the blue, that it did put things together. All of the brothers and the father pulled together to save the ship, which seemed to symbolize how they actually did care about each other, and wanted to change their way of life. I also felt that until the ending the Skipper never really had a meaningful part, yet the play was supposed to revolve around him. The ending, when the Skipper?s ghost appeared, made me feel for the first time in the play that he had an important part. It made me see that he was the head of the family and that he would guide the family. I thought that the ending finally put some meaning into the play. I was becoming tired of just watching this dysfunctional family. I think that the play needed something of this type of ending to show that the family was going to turn around and help each other out. The ending did leave me with some hope for the future of this family.
If I were to change the ending, I would have perhaps had the Skipper change his mood towards the family, and have the family find out more about his life in order to see that if they don?t start to get along with each other they will miss out. I think the ending needs to put more emphasis on the Skipper and how the family lives their lives accordingly.
One part of the play that confused me was the part where the Skipper kept calling out for Jacob. I had somewhat of an idea of what happened but I had wished that they would have explained more of that story line in the play. I would have liked to see the Skipper show more affection towards his family near the end.. That way it would have changed the view of how the family was acting towards each other. I just felt as though there needed to be something to show the family that they can?t lead their lives with all the fighting and tormenting. I did think the ending showed this in a way, though I found it unclear. Even when Brad ran out into the freezing weather, the family seemed to have no remorse. If I were to rewrite the ending, I would have had that scene be the part where the family realized that they needed to treat each other with more respect.
I found that at the end of the plat, I was disturbed with what I saw. I had a feeling of emptiness when the play was over. I understood that everything does not end happily, but there wasn?t even an attempt to patch things up in this play.
It seemed strange to me when all of a sudden a ghost appears and the family is saving a ship. It didn?t seem to flow with the rest of the play. I would have liked the playwright or director to elaborate on exactly what did happen to the family after they saw the ghost.
With all of these arguments in mind, the ending I would have done would be to have the Skipper prove to the family that they need each other. I wouldn?t have made the Skipper so grumpy and miserable. He should have been the one to want a better life for his family. He should have been the one who guided them through the tough times, and made them see they really do love each other. It was too depressing for me to watch this string of unhappiness throughout the family. Also to see that the only character that was trying to make things better, Brad, was so tormented that he committed suicide.
I didn?t leave the play with a sense hat I learned something from it. The play for me just seemed to carry on into this long path of unhappiness. I would have felt better if something, such as the death of Brad, would have changed the characters? attitudes. Little seemed to make these characters see that they lived in a destructive household.
I did not particularly like the ending, but I do think that it was maybe trying to portray what I was hoping to see. At least the ending did have a change of pace for the play, but I thought that it was just too out of place. I think an ending that was a little more defined or true to life would have suited the play better, and left the audience with a better outlook on the play or even life in general.