Ayckbourn's Short Plays and Themes of Isolation and Loneliness

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Ayckbourn's Short Plays and Themes of Isolation and Loneliness Isolation and loneliness are common themes in three of Ayckbourn's short plays. It appears, in varying degrees within MF, DC and TP but always is a problem/theme inside each play. MF starts off with on the first page with a strong image of Lucy being isolated from the world outside., "she lifts the receiver then replaces it immediately" and "the door chimes again. Lucy ignores these". Lucy is isolating herself from people at the door and anybody trying to ring her, we discover in the next play why she ignores the phone but the door must just be a way of keeping all her outside troubles and upsets away. I.e. Harry her husband who has 'abandoned' her and left her on her own with the multiple children. An adult in a home with no other adults to talk to may feel very alone intellectually speaking. With nobody around to discuss 'adult issues' e.g. the reason why she is so isolated and why Harry has left her. This ties in with the loneliness of Harry in DC. Here Harry is isolated from females in general, he is away from his wife, but he is miles apart from the girls he's trying to impress. You can see, especially with the arrival of Paula that neither of the girls find him remotely interesting or amusing, on page37 Bernice says, "Oh my God, I thought we'd never get rid of him" just before the pair quickly exit the restaurant. Also Harry turns to attempting to have an affair, probably affairs observing how he behaves, either from obsession and lust-or he truly feels so distant from Lucy he cannot sort out any marital problems. Harry and Lucy are a married couple with children and commitments to each other, but both are lonely, and feel remote from the other. They deal with it in different ways though-Harry attempts to cure loneliness with brief sexual companions, while Lucy just cuts herself off from everyone or at least tries to. Lucy's display of role reversal with Terry and Rose shows how distant from the adult community she appears to be becoming. She turns the pair into squabbling kids, and sends them on their way. When it was they who came to help her! The waiter in BM shares a similar problem, he must be friendly and warm to everyone while keeping a respectable isolated stance from their affairs. Meaning in his everyday working capacity he is lonely and having to present a distance between himself and his customers. This is impressed every time the waiter wanders
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