Analysis of A Perfect Ganesh

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A Perfect Ganesh

Analysis of the play elements.

The author:

Terrence Mcnally’s career began in the New York off-off-Broadway boom of the late 1960s. Most of his 60’s plays are not really relevant although some are funny. However, during the 70’s his plays began to get recognition. Nowadays, his plays are performed in off-Broadway theaters and he is known as the author of tragicomic plays, filled with breadth and depth. He still lives in New York and is one of the America best playwrights.

He is the author of numerous plays, including Master Class and Love! Valour! Compassion! (both winners of the Tony Award for best play), The Ritz, and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, which became a movie starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer, and the books for the musicals The Rink and Kiss of the Spider Woman, which won the Tony Award for the best book of musical. Other successes include Lips Together, Teeth Apart and The Lisbon Traviata. Other plays by Terrence McNally are: Andre’s Mother; Corpus Christi: a play; It’s only a Play; !Cuba si! Bringing it all back home, last gasps; and Where has Tommy Flowers Gone.

McNally has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also serves as vice president for the Dramatists Guild, the American organization of playwrights, composers, and lyricists. His plays have been adapted to many languages, and performed in different countries.

The plot

The play concerns a two-week travel to India by two rich middle-aged women, who seem to be empty and frivolous. They both have indifferent and painful memories of the deaths of their sons. Although being friends for many years, it is only in this trip that they get to know each other (and also themselves) by experiencing the humanity of India.

Katharine Brynne, one of them, is a mother who lost a homosexual son, killed by homophobics, and is haunted by the fact she rejected him. Katharine is also a woman who must deal with her racism, fueled by the fact that the men who killed her son were black. She is also an exuberant and open-minded woman who is willing to take risks and to accept the reality she sees about herself.

In contrast to Katharine, there is Margaret Civil, who is more reserved, conventional, and motherly.

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