Homeward Bound Homeward Bound is a satiric play, which attacks the socially accepted standards of today’s society. This play is known as a comedy of manners; defined as light social satire. Homeward Bound also consists of amusing characters that the audience can relate to. This type of play appeals to mostly sophisticated audiences and actors because the play consists of clever use of language and brilliant conversation.
Elliot Hayes’ use of satire in Homeward Bound plays an important part in the telling of the story. His use of satire expresses how the characters feel about each other and their situations. There were many parts of the play that had satire in them. The scene where the mother is talking about her gay son and his partner is an example because it was a mockery of how “normal people” handled the touchy subject of homosexuality. Another satiric scene is where Norris told her family about her affair, but the circumstances were that she had the affair with Nick’s gay partner and she was bearing his child.
This is a very unusual example of satire because this sort of thing usually does not happen to a middle class society (or at least not that I have heard of). The family’s reaction to this newfound information is very humorous because they act almost opposite as to what is expected. Hayes is almost ridiculing the middle class’ mentality and their views on life. Hayes also satirizes when Bonnie reveals Donna’s little secret of her indecent behavior when she was a little child. This was totally unexpected and it revealed Donna’s character as being loose.
Even though the characters did the opposite of what was expected and were quite amusing, the audience could relate to them because, before all the surprises were revealed the audience saw the characters as ordinary people. Once the “skeletons” came out of the closet, the audience realized that euthanasia, homosexuality, alcoholism and affairs are problems that all levels of class face. This realization brings the audience closer to the characters and the circumstances presented on stage.
This play appeals more to a sophisticated and mature audience because of the clever use of language and brilliant conversation. There was a lot of slang and colloquialism used. Usage of swears was interesting; it is a normal assumption to make that middle class families are not so crass. This was effective because it provided more realism by showing how people would talk in these serious and yet humorous situations. The brilliant conversation was used when all the characters were arguing. It was brilliant because it seemed as though they were really arguing. They portrayed this by using timed interruptions, pauses and random spurts of emotions. Since this play is so close to real life experiences it is even more powerful in conveying its intended message A modern day play, it evokes a sense of empathy from the audience. It allows us to take a look at humorous side of some very serious matters. In doing that, it also allows us to question the values and morals of today. All in all, this play enables us to participate in an almost believable scenario. The characters are vividly drawn and conceptualized; it is very easy to feel for the individual characters. A wonderful twisting story that captures the imagination, I would readily watch this play again.