The Importance of Family
A few weeks ago, I went to see the play “Bobrauschenbergamerica” that Loyola students put on for the school and public. One of my roommates was actually the assistant stage manager and prior to seeing the play, she warned me that it was “interesting” and remarkably random. Boy, was she right! This play was hilarious, but there was absolutely no plot that the production was centered around. Although this play seemed to be all the place, I found a common theme between this play and the novel Shane by Jack Schaefer. The idea of family and it’s importance was implied in this play as it is discussed in the Shane.
The play had no plot, no storyline, no nothing. It took place on a rural, farm setting. It was essentially a play about random scenes. For example, one moment a group of people are having a picnic, then they are throwing clothes in the air, and then two boys are kissing! It was extremely entertaining. What caught my attention most is at the end of each scene, one of actors or actresses came onto the dark stage alone with the spotlight directed on them. They began to talk about an important family member who was special to them. Truthfully, I had no idea how it tied into the play but when they talked about a family member whether it was an uncle, father, mother, sister, or brother, it was very thoughtful and passionate. In the background while they spoke, black and white slides of rocking chairs, big pastures, and barns, ect. were being shown to enhance the memories they were sharing. Each actor and actress had a funny story about the particular family member they were speaking about. It occurred to me that this play very well may have been about a million different things, but one simple, reoccuring idea was that family was important.
In the novel Shane by Jack Schaefer, the Starrett’s are a closely knit family. They are good people who care about doing the right thing. When Shane comes riding into their small town, unlike others around them, they view Shane as a good man who hasn’t given them any reason to dislike or treat him differently. When Ledyard came around on his horse to sell Mr. Starrett a cultivator he said, “Starrett! Are you going to stand there and let that-that tramp no body knows about call me a liar?”(19). The Starrett family believes giving people a chance is important. Bob looks up to his father because Joe is a man of good values and qualities. He is admirable. Marion believes her husband is all man and can accomplish anything he puts his mind to. The Starrett family leans on one another. They care about the happiness of themselves and others around them, so when Shane came into town unaccompanied, they felt every obligation to give him a place to call home and folks to call his family.
The Jesuit education encourages students to be open-minded, and to not be so judgmental. We are taught that people are more than what they appear on the outside. We are pushed to be friendly, and accept everyone for who they are. When we see or meet some one for the time, we can’t help but judge them based on first impressions. As human beings, we naturally analyze people when we pass them on the University quad or even walking down the street. It is important to not base our thoughts on people solely because of what we thought of them meeting them for the first time. When we let people into our lives that we may never have considered, we are exposed to a world we never thought existed because we are experiencing new people, new ideas, and new ways of life.
The play and the novel Shane are two examples of works that touch base on family and what it means to be a good person. Family will always be there in the end, and it is important to appreciate them and put them first. As a family, the Starretts encourage one another and the others around them to do the right thing. They are accepting and caring towards one another and people that come in and out of their lives. In “Bobrauschenbergamerca”, family is discussed in generous and heartfelt ways. As humans, we are constantly running around in circles because of our busy schedules. We are constantly meeting new people every day and it’s important that we take a moment to see who people really are and get to know them in other ways based on what they solely look like, where they came from, or what they’ve done.