Expository Essay Examples


Expository Essay Examples

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Expository Essay Example

One of the plays that worth study because of its structure - “The Member of the Wedding” by Carson McCullers. In fact, it is so loose that it does not seem to be a play at all. It avoids being conventionally dramatic by its lack of plot. Instead it is "a triumph of feeling over plotting and of acute observation over the strenuous dramatics often supposed to be the secret of theatrical success." Plot-wise, it starts off with the impending marriage between Frankie's brother Jarvis and Janice. By the end of the act the audience learns of Frankie's desire to go away with them and become a "member of the wedding." The main plot line is definitely established and so is the plot premise. Though the act demonstrates a series of minor outward conflicts among Frankie, Berenice, John Henry, and some little girl neighbors, the main conflict is inside Frankie. The second act shows Frankie after she has bought her wedding dress, and with the exception of the little scene of conflict between Honey and Mr. Adams, there is little overt action. The drama comes from Frankie's restive mind and spirit. Act III, scene 1, presents off stage the wedding and Frankie's attempt to go on the honeymoon with Jarvis and Janice. The audience sees the effect of these incidents. And again action gives way to reaction. However, the tension of this scene is jacked up considerably, first by the wedding and Frankie's attempt to go with the bride and groom and then by her running away. The references to Honey's being in trouble presage more trouble and add to the emotional atmosphere. Scene 2 shows Frankie returning home and the sudden arrival of Honey, who is running from the police after attacking a white man with a razor, and presents the news that John Henry is sick. The last scene of the act and play is essentially epilogue. The physical action of the play is over but Frankie has arrived at a new stage in her growth to maturity.

Carson McCullers wrote both the novel and the dramatic adaptation. It is natural that the technique of the novel would be transferred to the play since the author was experienced only as a writer of fiction. Though she restricts the action to one locale and the time to the space of a few days for all except the last scene, which came several months later, she does not restrict the emotional range of the play.

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