Rafe's Impressions in Act Two Scene One of Spring and Portwine

Rafe's Impressions in Act Two Scene One of Spring and Portwine

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Rafe's Impressions in Act Two Scene One of Spring and Portwine


This is happening during the time when Rafe and Hilda are in
disagreement over what should be done with the herring Hilda refused
to eat on Friday evening. Prior to this, the family have had a sing
along song. During this time Rafe has been jolly and in good mood. He
actually encourages everyone to join the singing and sings in a
beautiful happy voice. As the family gather to have tea and as events
unravel, a different Rafe come to picture. In this scene Rafe is
authoritative and dictator-like.

His authoritativeness is revealed when he says to Daisy, 'mother have
you forgotten something,' ands she stands up and does as requested. He
is an un-moved character, a dictator so to speak. He wants his word
taken and done. This side of him is shown when he insists that Hilda
must eat the herring no matter what it takes and if she doesn't she
will not from his table until she has done so.

When Daisy finds the herring missing, Rafe takes it into his own hands
to dig deep into the core of the matter. Here Rafe is shown as a very
reasonable person who reasons with sensible understanding and logic.
When Wilfred tries to cheat his way out of trouble by saying that he
drank water just before the family had tea, Rafe with his logical
thinking cannot take it or believe why someone would do that because
it does not make any sense at all. He is obsessed with the truth that
he will dig to the deepest point of the matter to get to the truth.
Here are some quotes that show his obsession with the truth:

* 'Its an inquest into the truth and don't override me.'

* 'I'm going to ask you a question. All I want to know is the
truth.'

Rafe also seems to be a character who never gives up. No matter how
much Wilfred tries to justify himself and no matter how much the

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others try to discourage an inquest into the truth, he still persists
because he thinks that it is the right way to live. This makes him a
self-opinionated individual (he believes that his opinions are always
right). Rafe is also self-conscious and self-assured. When he takes up
the Bible to make Wilfred swear on it and everyone murmurs in
disagreement, he just waves his hands at the rest of the family to be
silent everyone obeys his will. This reveals that he is excessively
aware that he commands a great deal of respect in the house and is
assured that no-one dare goes against his will. He is a big bully;
someone who rams his way through people as if they were not in
existence,

He seems bureaucratic. His administration of the home is in such a way
that he goes into unnecessary procedures to satisfy his soul and
curiosity. In the scene he is also autocratic in the sense that he is
domineering the household. To support these facts here are some quotes
from his mouth:

* 'I never turn back once I start something' -self-conscious

* 'I must have the truth! It's the only way to live-by the truth'
-bureaucratic

* 'Lift up up higher. I'm determined to get the truth' -autocratic

When Wilfred collapses, we see a slightly different side to Rafe. He
is a steady and stable character (a common father reaction when
disaster strikes-mentality that 'I am the man in the house and I can
sort it out'). We also see a caring side to him. As the boy is fallen
he calls for water and tends Wilfred. Here is one of his quotes, 'mind
yourself-mother-let me do it.' This shows that he cares for his wife
and children and is a true father figure. When Wilfred wakes up and
tells the truth, Rafe does not want anything more said about the
matter. He is probably pleased that his way has worked. But when
Arthur starts to bombard him, he is actually willing to listen. This
shows a humble side to his nature and the fact that he accepts that
everybody needs correction.

In directing this film, I would tell the actor playing Rafe to show
that he is masterful and powerful by being an overshadowing figure. He
should also be firm and authoritative and move around with his head up
and his hands in his pocket to show his pride and self-consciousness.
He should speak in a firm and articulate tone. As the scene ends, I
would tell the actor to look concerned that Wilfred collapsed but
still keep his head high because his resolution has succeeded.

This is the scene after Rafe discovers that his overcoat is missing.
In this scene we see a completely different side to him altogether.

When he discovers that his overcoat is missing, the manner in which he
requests its whereabouts is calm and polite. This is what he says when
he requests about the overcoat, 'Mother! Mother! Where you have you
put my overcoat? It's not in the wardrobe. Can you come and help me
find it love or I'll be late? The tone with which Rafe is talking in
does not seem harsh or authoritative but it is more of a pleading tone
than a demand than a demanding on, as was the case in the herring
scene. Words like can, help, and love make his sentence sound polite
and at ease.

When Daisy is emotionally drained by what she has done and asks Rafe
to hold her in his arms, we see a caring and passionate Rafe. He does
not take thing s far too soon and is willing to listen to what Daisy
has to say to him. He says, 'I'll hold you lass there, there. Now tell
me what's wrong? Tell me all about it. Surely you can tell me
anything.'

In this scene, Rafe does not immediately go forward of events.
Probably in his mind he already knows that his wife has done something
with his overcoat but he wants to hear it from her. This is a sign
that he is patient. He doesn't jump into blaming her and starting
another 'inquest' into the truth. He slowly wants to hear the
information as it comes.

When daisy told him she needed money for Florence and that she sold
the overcoat, Rafe is worried and concerned. He is not bothered by the
fact that his wife has sold his new overcoat. What bothers him is the
fact that his wife did not ask for money from him because of his
outward-nature (stern, uneasy to talk to and an intimidating
presence). He understands that his wife had to take such drastic
measures because of the person that he is externally. He opens up his
'real internal self' and tells Daisy that he loves her. He says,
'don't you realise that I love you for what you call your faults.'
These words from his mouth are assuring and probably 'sweet' in
Daisy's ears.

When Daisy asks for his forgiveness he in turn begs for forgiveness in
admission that all of this is his fault. 'Nay, you must forgive me. I
drove you to it. I try to do good by force and force seems to blind a
man.' He seems to have realised that he is not being the man that he
really is.

This whole picture created here is in contrast to the self
opinionated, self-assured and self-conscious Rafe seen in the first
scene. When Daisy persists with her apology Rafe says, 'I don't care
about the coat or the desk. All I've ever cared about is you and our
four children.' Now the real Rafe is revealed. He is a family man who
loves his family but fails to get the message in the appropriate way.
Furthermore, he opens up to his wife and tells her how he has come to
be the man that he is. He is humbling himself and reveals the things
that he would have never said while he was still proud. He finally
appreciates the fact that no one is perfect. Some of the childhood
facts that he tells his wife about are:

His upbringing and how it was shattered by the experiences of his
mother ever being tormented by the presence of bailiffs. He tells of
how he had to hide from bailiff men every time he made his way home
from school. Every time he met them he had to sneak off and climb over
walls so as not to be seen. His mother used to hide he truth from his
dad. She always kept her debts hidden from him. This in fact is the
reason why he has turned out to have an obsession with the truth. He
also mentions one particular incident when he was young. In this
incident, he had just come from school and he found two bailiff chaps
in the dining room. Going to the kitchen, he found his mother trying
to gas herself at the gas stove. That horrific memory has stayed with
him always and from that day he had vowed never to have a debt in his
life, not even to owe a single penny. He tell of the misery he went
through and how nothing could ever pay back those memories.
Eventually, this culminates in him turning out to be the sort of man
that he is externally but not the man that he really is internally.

In directing this film, I would tell the actor playing Rafe to show
emotion and be supportive. He should stand facing Daisy to show that
he is giving her maximum attention. He should speak in a polite and
pleading tone, one that shows remorse. He should have a distraught and
dishevelled look as he runs up the canal in search of Daisy to show
that he has lost those thoughts of dignity and control. I would also
tell the actor playing Daisy to physically run out of the house and if
in a theatre, even just down the aisle of the theatre.
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