Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Common Topic, New Perspective

The compilation of plays Out of the Mount contains multiple scenarios that occur in the lives of the Mormon characters.  Some of the plays touch on sensitive subjects that aren't often written about like same-sex attraction while others touch on common topics in Mormon literature like the fall of Adam and Eve.  Gaia, written by Eric Samuelson, depicts a scene in the Pre-Earth life, a place where we dwelled as intelligences preparing to go to earth.  A woman named Gaia has a conversation with Lucifer and their views strongly differ regarding their Father's (God's) plan: Lucifer finds it unfair and condemning while Gaia sees it as a way to become like God.

Many Mormon authors write about their musings and perspective of our pre-earth existence.  However, Samuelson did so in a more personal, one-on-one way.  As Mormons, we often hear that Lucifer fought against God's plan but don't touch as much as to why he did.  The dialogue between Lucifer and Gaia shows that his contempt was not simply out of desire for power; He was scared, unsure and felt human beings should be judged the same as other beings such as animals.  He shares his desire to be a shark, only abiding by instinct and not being judged at the end of his journey.  I was more intrigued by his character than that of Gaia's.  As most know, Adam and Eve were the first on the earth yet Samuelson provides an interesting perspective on this knowledge as well.  Could Lucifer been one of the first but because of his decision he lost that privilege?  Lucifer is always portrayed as a tyrant yet in this play he is portrayed as confused and struggling to see the happiness in God's plan. Overall, Samuelson provides interesting perspective on Lucifer's thoughts and actions.
I will admit, the writing itself was rather flat.  It appeared that the playwright only focused on the content of the play rather than the stylistic choices. At times, the writing seemed to detract from the interesting concepts.  However, what if Samuelson did this on purpose?  Many of us have had to have a heartbreaking conversation with people we love and it can go a multitude of ways.  Perhaps Samuelson chose to use flat conventions and at times dull dialogue (though interesting perspectives) to allow the reader to personally take on the conversation and place themselves in the shoes of Gaia. Or even the shoes of Lucifer.  In this way,  Samuelson allows a more personal reading for the reader.

1 comment:

  1. I loved your comments on Lucifer's inner struggle. You captured the most compelling part of the play, at least for me, very well!