The Drawer Boy

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The Art of Violence: Healey’s Character Representation in The Drawer Boy
Reviewed by Word Press critic Michael Dykstra, the Canadian play The Drawer Boy, by Michael Healey, has been suggested to be a play containing “no violence” (Dykstra); however, this conclusion deserves further analysis. In the play, the author uses violence as a way to create an identity for Angus, a main character, as well as a method to develop Angus’s character. Through this play, Healey creates a personality for Angus that, although innocent at first, evolves through his exposure to violence and establishes within him an aggressive disposition.
In the first two scenes of they play, Healey portrays Angus as
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Angus’ identity become more complex as Healey no longer describes Angus as a victim of violence, but moreover as a source of violence. Towards the end of the first act of the play, Miles and Morgan are having a conversation about the government raising prices on grocery products. During the conversation, Miles makes the suggestion for a common farm where everyone contributes and profits. Angus, in directly apart of the conversation, raises his opinion on the matter through a single repeated comment of “Goddamn communist” (547). As the conversation continues, Angus has but the same comment only his tone of voice becomes more forceful until he’s shouting “GOD. DAMN. COMMUINTSTS” (547). As Andrew Preston discusses in article he wrote in the Globe and Mail, “communism seemed to be the wave of the future” at the time of the Second World War (Preston). Although the article makes it seem as though many were for communism, Angus appears to have a different opinion on the matter. A common farm would mean change for Angus. Now it could be just that Angus’ has a strong opinion on communism and needed to express it in a forceful manner, but there could also be the possibility of him shouting out in anger towards the idea of communism. Morgan and Angus have been just the two of them for some time now working on their farm. A common farm would change the way things worked on the farm and this might anger or maybe even scare Angus. When told by Morgan that he was

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