Of the Fields, Lately
March 9, 2003
The play Of the Fields, Lately portrays an average working class family living in the cold, isolated area of Newfoundland. Written by David French, The Mercer Family struggles with themselves in their close-knit traditions and encounter difficulties in getting along with each other. The Mercer Family is not a picture-perfect family as the Brady Bunch. They have values and behaviour which predominantly affects their lifestyles.
The relationship between Jacob and Ben is very bizarre considering that they are father and son. Their relationship is revealed to be bitter and dysfunctioning, as proven through the conversation between Ben and his mother, Mary (pg. 7).
This implies that Ben does not wish to interact with his father in any way. He doesn't even take notice of his father's presence in the household. He is immediately insulted when Mary questions him regarding his father.
Ben states to Mary that he does not wish to establish any type of new relationship with Jacob. Mary acts as a peacekeeper in order to establish a "sense of belonging" between the two but both Ben and Jacob simply avoid each other. The last line from this selection (pg.7) is the most effective part of the dialogue since it is interesting to notice that Ben suspects his mother wants him to leave the house, when she only wishes for him to acknowledge the presence of Jacob.
Another piece of dialogue which defines the relationship between Ben and Jacob is when Ben is asked about his flight coming home (pgs 9-10). Both Ben and Jacob stare at each other painfully, waiting for the other person to respond. This reveals that this family is so dysfunctional that they cannot even speak to one another in a sincere manner for...