de la Torre
Francisco de la Torre AP English Lit Mr. Panzer 27 September 2014
Research Paper on Almost an Evening
Written by the critically acclaimed Ethan Coen, Almost an Evening is a collection of three one-act plays. The first of these one-acts is titled "Waiting", which is about a character Nelson who eagerly awaits his chance to go to heaven. Nelson must wait, wait, and wait some more as various bureaucrats scratch out his fate. The second one-act, "Four Benches", is about a British spy who never reveals his identity but seems to despise the job that he has. The final act is called "Debate" which includes a debate between a God Who Judges and a God Who Loves. The theme of each of these one-acts is in keeping with many of Coen's other works: that hell is not so far off from actual life. hell, for Coen, "lurks right under the surface of, or just around the corner from everyday life."
(Ben Brantely) The theme of each of these one-acts is in keeping with many of Coen's other works: that hell is not so far off from actual life.
In the first one-act, "Waiting", hell is very much at the forefront of the setting. In fact, "Waiting" is the only one of the acts that mentions the supernatural world. Nelson is first informed that he must wait 822 years before he may enter the kingdom of heaven. Unfortunately, after some miscalculations on the part of the administration of purgatory, missing the shuttle to Heaven, and cursing, Nelson ends up spending upwards to one hundred thousands years in purgatory. Nelson soon finds out that the tormentors-in-chief are playing a cruel joke on him and that in actuality he is in hell and is never leaving. However, this...