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Transcript of Hopeless Love
By Lynne Alvarez Subject On Sundays by Lynne Alvarez is a One- Act Play about a young man named Jules who falls in love with Sylvia, a woman trapped in a glass box. It was love at first sight for Jules. He comes back every Sunday to talk to Sylvia and express his deep love for her, even though she cannot respond to him, much less see him. Years go on and Jules gets old, but he still returns every Sunday to be with Sylvia. Sylvia is fighting a beast that is in her box all throughout the play. Jules starts to give up hope on Sylvia, but he stops thinking so negatively because he loves her regardless. Jules eventually disappears and Sylvia climbs out of her glass box. *Sylvia's house would probably look something like this, except in the middle of a city.* Theme The theme of On Sundays by Lynne Alvarez is that love can be one sided at times. Throughout the play, only Jules shows his affection towards Sylvia, since she cannot hear him or talk to him. One example of this one-sided love is when Jules brings Sylvia flowers, but she cannot see him and does not know that they are from him. "He tries to find a place to offer them to SYLVIA. He holds them to the door, but they are not taken. He puts them on the ground and waits to see if she will reach out. Finally he throws them over the top into the box. SYLVIA finds them and puts them on her morning table" (45). Another theme thread is when Sylvia is trying to get Jules' attention but he does not see her. "Sylvia taps on the glass and tries in vain to get JULES' attention" (48). "It has been painful, in fact at times it has been excruciatingly painful to never receive a word of love or feel your affection" (51). Jules expresses the pain he feels because he does not receive love in return. Diction "Ahh. C'est la vie!" (45).
Jules say this which is a French saying that means "Such is life". He says this when he sees Sylvia for the first time and is lovestruck! Jules is the only character with dialogue in this play. All of his lines are delivered in long detailed monologues. "Well, I'm here... I vowed to come back and end this once and for all just as soon..." (48-49). Tone The major tone of On Sundays is hopeless. This is the major tone because throughout the play there is a feeling of emptiness because love is not fully received on either of the character's parts. At some points in the play Jules feels like it is completely pointless to continue on loving Sylvia because she never returns his good love. The minor tone is violent because for nearly two scenes Sylvia is fighting the beast inside of her box. Not much attention is drawn to her fight with the beast because it is only pointed out in the stage directions. Symbolism The beast in Sylvia's home is a symbol of inner demons. Throughout a day in the life of Sylvia she has to fight off the beast to get to happiness and freedom. The beast is a symbol of fighting off evil and temptations toward malicious things in the everyday lives of people. "Sylvia is wrestling with the BEAST. She takes its tail and wraps it around its throat and kills it" (49). Jules ages throughout the play while Sylvia remains the same age. Jules aging is symbolized by his usage of a cane and having gray hair. "JULES enters. He walks slowly, almost decrepitly, his hat in one hand, leaning on a cane. His hair is unkempt, with visible gray in it" (48). At the end of the play, Sylvia appears through a curtain wearing a leotard and a wreath around her head. Wreaths are usually symbols of eternal life. This is probably true in On Sundays because Sylvia fought off the beast, or demon, and made her way to a life of happiness; eternal life. Speaker Because On Sundays is a play, there is no definite speaker. The character that speaks most to the theme of the play is Jules because he is the only character that speaks in the play. Structure The internal structure of On Sundays consists of six scenes throughout one act. At the beginning of the of the play there is a list of the characters. The play follows chronological order. Imagery Reification "...and poured out my troubles like that" (46). Personification "a wounded and lost whale wandered the shores of New York..." (47). Oxymoron "bitter sweet" (47). Lytotes "It's been some time now" (48). Simile "They looked official. Officious. (He laughs.) Like officious ice cream men..." (49). Genre The genre of On Sundays is One-Act Play. According to the Handbook to Literature a One-Act play is "a form of drama that has come into its own since about 1890. Before that date one-act plays had been used chiefly on VAUDVILLE programs and as CURTAIN RAISERS in the LEGITIMATE THEATER." The genre is One-Act play because On Sundays is a One-Act play. Holman, C. Hugh, and William Flint Thrall. A Handbook to Literature,. Indianapolis: Odyssey, 1972. Print the end.