Water by the Spoonful is a play written by Quiara Hudes. The play narrates to the reader the story of the Iraqi war veteran and the group of drug addicts, including his biological mother. The author of this work raises several acute social problems, trying to address them through the story and the relations that develop between the characters. Therefore, the critical psychological lens seems fitting for the analysis of this play.
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
This specific lens focuses mainly on the relations between characters, their motivation, and moral choices. Thus, it is important to analyze if this lens is useful for the analysis of this specific work, judging by how many aspects of the play it allows to evaluate. First of all, it is possible to say that the main motivation that drives characters to act as they act is the desire to avoid loneliness, to find a reason to keep holding on. For example, Odessa chooses Fountainhead, the man she did not even meet in real life, as her emergency contact (Hudes 79). Ironically, they become a lifeboat for each other since Fountainhead considers it his duty, while Odessa sought his support for a long time (Hudes 79). Another aspect, that this lens uncovers is the broader social issues, which the text may address. Apart from the obvious issue of substance overuse, the play raises family relations problems, such as tensions between parents and children or conjugal lies (like in the case of Fountainhead). The most obvious example is Eliot, who conflicts with Odessa, his biological mother, who left him when he was an adolescent. In addition, the psychological lens allows examining that some dialogue lines do not fit the specific characters since they are written hyper-emotionally or sound too clichéd, which results in a lack of persuasiveness. For example, in the scene when Fountainhead chats with his friends from the hospital while sitting with Odessa, his friends’ reaction to the situation looks a bit unconvincing since the phrases they use to look like a default expression of emotional shock (Hudes 78). Therefore, the mentioned lens undoubtedly benefits the understanding of the overall quality of the characters and their behavior models, which is an essential part of a good play.
The lens chosen by my peer is a critical socio-economic lens. If to speak about my peer’s first question, it is important to say that characters representing various social classes show different attitudes towards various situations. For example, in the scene when Yazmin and Elliot hack Odessa’s computer, Elliot’s sister says that they are “not going to get more than fifteen bucks” for pawning the computer (Hudes 58). At the same time, Elliot says that it is not “about the money” (Hudes 58). In addition, my peer could note that Elliot is a typical example of a soldier, forgotten by his country, which represents modern American realities, especially if we talk about Iraqi veterans. Thus, this play represents the socio-economic realities of the United States in the early 2010s; Elliot is a representative of a poor working class, while his other family members represent middle or poverty-level classes.
Hudes, Quiara. Water by the Spoonful. Dramatists Play Service, 2013.