An Analysis Of Yasmina Reza 's ' God Of Carnage ' Essay

An Analysis Of Yasmina Reza 's ' God Of Carnage ' Essay

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The play God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza begins with a simple set-up, four parents from different social classes coming together to discuss a dispute between their sons. As the play continues we see the characters slowly becoming less polite and civil as they start yelling at each other, getting piss drunk, and everyone’s favourite, vomiting. Throughout the play these characters are constantly being tested and judged. When Veronica and Michael attempt to show off their material possessions to the Raleighs they are given a metaphorical slap to the face as they physically ruin what the Novaks hold dear to them. In return the Novaks judge the Raleighs on their sense of righteousness and responsibility, the Raleighs social standing allowing them to only take responsibility to themselves and develop a sense of righteousness only when they are being attacked. Through these contrasting views developed from the difference in social class Reza present these as the central dramatic conflict within the play. The most obvious social class difference being their value in material possessions.
Due to their social standing, Michael and Veronica take huge pride in their material possessions. For them their material possessions are something they’ve worked hard towards and they deservedly feel the need to take the chance to show off. On the other hand however Alan and Annette don’t feel the same awe the Novaks do. For example on page six when Annette makes a small comment on the tulips to break up the silence Veronica goes into detail about their origin, where to buy them and even the cost. Annette on the other hand isn’t as interested in the tulips responding with “yes”, and “oh really”, trying to be polite. We see what she really thinks of the t...


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...tral dramatic conflict from the play derives from the way social class can change the perspective of the Raleighs and the Novaks. From their material possessions to their responsibilities and righteousness the characters constant bicker. God of Carnage gives an interesting view into how peoples of a middle and higher class can become so vulgar and vile just over a simple dispute. Veronica’s and Michaels pride in their material possessions consume them because of how hard they have to work for them. The couples judge each other for either being not enough moral, or caring too much about what they think is a simple scuffle. Either they are responsible for settling the fight or not. In the end none of it matters as the play concludes with all the characters sitting dejected not knowing what to do next. Michael concludes with “What do we know”. What do they know indeed?

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