The play by Taylor Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth conveys the journey of a lady with Indian roots who was adopted into a white family. Several characters help in the development of the story and define the genre. Tonto is the crucial character in the work who plays a vital role in changing the situation due to his humorous, supportive, and traditional traits.
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Tonto is one of the individuals who adds some comical parts to the drama. For instance, he often makes jokes about being an Indian, and he offers a stand-up game by the end of the first scene, where he appears to be amusing and easy-going (Taylor, 1998). As a result, Tonto’s humor lightens the audience’s mood and contrasts the dramatic and serious mood of the play.
Additionally, Tonto is supportive and understands Janice’s situation quite well; hence, he tries to cheer her in difficult situations throughout the whole story. For example, he was one of the people who actively tried to return Janice home when she left Toronto for the search of her family (Taylor, 1998). Therefore, Tonto is portrayed as a kind and cheerful person who helped Janice develop throughout the play.
One of the main reasons to integrate Tonto into this play is to illustrate the customary Indian representative. Rodney, his brother, even says to Tonto, “you know, sometimes you’re just too Indian,” emphasizing his character as strongly traditional. (Taylor, 1998, p.19). Thus, Tonto’s image as a traditional Indian helps the audience to learn more about the aboriginals’ customary life. In conclusion, Tonto drives the whole plot and makes it more comedic as he is humorous, kind, and traditional despite him being a secondary character.
Taylor, D. H. (1998). Only drunks and children tell the truth. Talonbooks.