A Relationship that Changes for the Better

Essay by PollShell November 2004

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Wendy Wasserstein's play Tender Offer is a dialogue between a father, Paul and his daughter, Lisa. Paul is too wrapped up in his business and work and never takes the time to talk to his daughter and find out what is going on in her life. When the play begins, Lisa and Paul do not seem to have a relationship at all, but we find in the end that their relationship changes and will be better in the future. This dialogue allows Paul and Lisa to share their feelings about each other for the first time, thus changing their relationship from dysfunctional to normal.

The play begins with Lisa dancing around by herself in a dance studio waiting for her father to pick her up. When her father arrives, although he seems happy to her, he is in a rush to get home. He asks her how she did in her show, but in my opinion, the ques-tion didn't sound sincere.

The author makes it quite obvious in the opening of the play that Paul was not involved in his daughter's life.

I feel that Paul's character is arrogant and preoccupied. I believe that he was not fulfilling his duty and responsibilities as a father. In the opening of the play, Lisa was very upset about the fact that she could not find her leg warmers. And Paul, instead of comforting her and helping her find them, he scorns her saying "Where do you think you left them? Well try to remember, Lisa. We don't have all night." (p. 1303) He also seems to be more interested in his work than Lisa. In the beginning of the play, Lisa says to Paul, "Why were you late?" He replies, "I was in a business meeting. I'm sorry."...