How does the language of the play differ from the language of scene 1?
First of all the Scene 2 uses narrative language and speaking in a third person. This is used through out the performance by a character called the singer and Grusha/Simon. Even though the singer is actually given a character name he does not exist throughout the play other than narrating. The narrator first says “once upon a time” which shows this is a story being told in a past tense. The narrator sets the scene for the Governor and his wife “His name was Georgi Abashvilli”. The scene is then describing the revolution, which is taking place at this time, referring to deaths as “a time of bloodshed”. For that reason alone I feel like the beginning of the play starts off with a more modern language so there’s a clear contrast between the different time periods and it’s easier to distinguish them.
* What is Nukha like?
Nukha is a village in the Caucasus Mountains, which was ruled by the Governor Georgi Abashvilli, who did not rule it very well seeing how much he had purposely ignored the poor beggars and petitioners asking him for help. Nukha appears to be a poor village (apart from the Governor’s palace) this is shown by the ‘miserable slum houses’ who are filled with poor and unfortunate people which do not have the money to live in the right accommodations.
* What do you learn about the city’s Governor, Georgi Abashvili his family and his style of leadership? What are his main concerns?
Throughout Scene 2 we begin to learn more about the Governor’s family and the Governor himself. Georgi Abashvilli, displays absolutely no worry or care for his son and his wife in his very short appearance in the play as he hardly speaks a single line in Scene 2, which indicates his utter self-involvement. He has no interest in what does not concern him, which is verified when he entirely ignores the begging protestors outside his palace. Georgi is also described as showing lack of curiosity when the fat prince questions the war, this complete disrespect for the soldiers and the people of his city, proves his arrogance, which is in fact similar to his wife’s. Natella Abashvilli proves her enormous arrogance and self-involvement just like her husband who has been murdered. Although her sons’ life is in danger her main attention remains exclusively on her wardrobe and the haste to save the dresses, which concludes in to her carrying the dresses out to the carriage rather than her son. Instead she leaves the son in the care of her servants, concerned only with her safety and appearance. These actions are presented to and therefore believed by the audience to be typical of upper-class mothers.
* Does the scene involving the two doctors develop your understanding of the Governor?
I feel like it helped me to understand how much power and authority he had in the town of Nukha. Georgi possessed his own doctors who were right at his service taking care of his only child better than he was ever able to. It also made me realise that he did not only had doctors, he had everyone wrapped around his little finger and of course his wife took advantage of that. The Governor and his wife were both arrogant and preferred to have the doctors at their service rather than helping all the poor, homeless people out on the streets.
* Describe the meeting between Grusha and Simon. Why do they speak to each other in the third person?
Grusha seems to be very shy and raised to believe she’s not as significant as the other characters like Natella because of her social status. This is why she handles herself very proper because that is the way she’s used to being. She’s not used to having any attention on her therefore when Simon flirts with her indirectly (by the use of the third person) she answers back with the use of the third person as of her shy personality. However additionally even though Simon has more confidence, his romantic interest in Grusha brings out the fearful side in him, which causes him to talk in the third person.
* Why is the Governor suspicious of Prince Kazbeki? How are his suspicions justified?
The relationship between the Prince Kazbeki and the Governor is foreshadowed by the Governor’s comment, in which he states his surprise on being greeted by his own brother. The way Prince Kazbeki greets his brother is so unusual to the Governor that he remarks on it, “But did you hear Brother Kazbeki wish me a happy Easter?” This indicates the suspicion on the reason why Governor was greeted him the way he did which was obviously not their usual greeting. Turns out his suspicions were right after his own brother has killed him.
* Why must Simon leave? What is Grusha’s reaction to his departure? What promises are made?
The purpose of Simon leaving is to go and protect the Governor’s wife from the riots seeing as Natella being an upper class ‘deserves’ more protection than anyone else in the palace. Nevertheless before Simon sets off and after his attempt to flirt with Grusha he finally has the courage to propose to her and give her a silver cross, which is the sign of an engagement. I believe that she has only accepted the proposal because she wants to belong to someone and feel loved which she has not in a very long time, this is why she promises Simon that no matter what happens she will wait for him and she must fulfill her objective.
* How does the Governor’s wife come to leave the child behind?
Through Scene 1 we can see the awful relationship between the Governor’s wife and her son Michael. She seems to only ‘carry’ the child with her only because the child is ‘hers’ although her actions do not express that. ‘Georgi of course, builds only for his little Michael! Never for me’ Natella is in fact shown to be jealous of her own son getting more attention from her husband than her, the cause of this might be she is craving for his love and attention however that statement raises a very important question as to what is the point of having a child if you don’t surround it with eternal love? This again is shown when as soon as Natella sees the fire she rushes off and leaves the child with people who do not care for it at all.
* Why does Grusha take the child? What does the singer mean by ‘terrible temptation to do good’? Does anyone support Grusha in her actions?
I believe Grusha chooses to take the tiny isolated child with her seeing as no one else seemed to care for it. Even his own mother Natella had left him behind after announcing there was a fire visible as at last she noticed the fire-reddened sky. Everyone else seem to believe Michael has caught the plague and take no notice of it, but just because Grusha is insignificant to them they do not want her to take him with her ‘Keep your hands off him’. She as a maid is alone and unimportant to the res t of the characters so for that reason alone she’s able to empathise with Michael, as she knows what it feels like to be thought of as a burden. By ‘terrible temptations to do good’ the singer means Grusha is tempted to take Michael with her as deep down in her heart she knows it’s the right thing to do but also there may be concerns as to her not having enough money to actually look after the child and provide him with the right accommodations.