The Value of Interactions
In the production of “bobrauschenbergamerica,” the actors showed how people can be connected through similarities, but still not be interacting. Many characters in many roles took their place on the stage without necessarily interacting or acknowledging everyone. In the fast-paced and always changing life of society today, we often do not realize the influences that surround us that go unnoticed. While different scenes were occurring simultaneously, I found that if I looked at one place too long, I would miss something elsewhere. Also, we sometimes fool ourselves into believing that there is nothing outside our own lives. Similar to how iExamens have encouraged us to look above and beyond what our everyday life consists of, this play demonstrated that although we tend to focus on one central goal or achievement, we cannot ignore the influences and actions that are constantly occurring around us. These influences have the potential to spark interactions which allow us to further identify ourselves through our relation to something else.
Essentially, it is through interactions that we are strengthened and are able to define both ourselves and our intentions more clearly. In the performance, all roles worked nicely together if all the performers interacted with each other. Otherwise, being a member of the audience, I was confused as to what role each performer was playing. Similar differences between connections and interactions are displayed through the marriages in Stephanie Shapiro’s “Serving up Hope” and Bharati Mukherjee’s “A Father.” Though couples are connected through their marriage, the interactions between the two define its success and value. In “A Father,” Mukherjee says that Mr. Bhowmick “did not love his wife now, and he had not loved her then” revealing that their interactions have no base since a marriage, in today’s society, is built on the foundation of love (911). Also, the differentiating views between Mr. Bhowmick and his wife negatively impact their interactions which result in anger, frustration, and eventually death. Although the family is connected by the “traditional family ties” of having breakfast together and getting ready for work in the morning, they are not interacting since they do not reveal their true selves. When they allow their personal values and beliefs to come through as a result of Babli’s baby, their interaction only leads to violence and death revealing to the reader how dysfunctional their relationship truly is. In comparison, in “Serving up Hope,” the Sampson’s “personal and professional goals fell quickly into place as they merged their strengths” (2). As seen in the Sampson’s relationship, by joining together their strengths, they were able to accomplish success. By interacting with each other in a particular way, they were able to gain a mutual understanding from each other about what it is they strived for. By discovering this balance in their interactions, they achieve “a world of difference” (3). From both marriages, the reader can see the good and the bad that come from beneficial interactions in comparison to those that are detrimental to a relationship.
Many factors influence our interactions and the value they possess. In Gary Gildner’s “First Practice,” the speaker’s tone shifts from revealing to demanding when describing a coach. The revealing tone allows for the reader to interact with the speaker by gaining an understanding of what the coach is like. On the other hand, the demanding tone in the second stanza through the repetitive use of “he said” restrains the interactions because the coach is more dominant, causing there to be an imbalance in the relationship. Also, the idea that the coach “made two lines of us” reveals that the relationship is more one-sided since the coach has control over what is done to his players, therefore, limiting meaningful interactions (18). As seen through the marriages in the earlier readings, relationships that operate without a balance between the desires of each party leads to miscommunication of one’s feelings and true values. Similarly, Richard Hague’s poem “Directions for Resisting the SAT” reveals how one should not be defined and guided by the expectations and rules of society, but should rather learn and explore on their own. In relation to the performance, there is no defined way of interacting. All people involved in their interactions are different, as seen throughout our variety of readings. What is most important about interactions, regardless of how one goes about it, is the positive effect it has on improving relations and the understandings within them.
Interactions define our understanding of one another. This performance encouraged me to evaluate all the interactions that take place in my life on a daily basis. This made me think, are interactions like this all throughout Loyola? All students are connected in the way that we all want to have fun, we all want to make friends, we all want to do well, and we all want to succeed. In that case, why is there so much that separates us? These connections and similarities give us potential to engage in meaningful interactions with one another. Although these interactions can be affected by fear or expectations, as seen in the poems “First Practice” and “Directions for Resisting the SAT,” they can also be strengthened by sharing truths and establishing a mutual understanding. Going outside of Loyola, however, these interactions seem to become less prevalent. Riding on the city bus, I realized that there were fewer connections and similarities that brought together such as large group of people, which resulted in fewer interactions. As a society, we tend to let these differences separate us when, instead, we need to reach across the line that separates us just as the Sampson’s did in Shapiro’s “Serving up Hope” when he says “you need to make a difference in your community” (2). By nurturing the differences between one another, unlike what Mr. Bhowmick and his wife did, “the Sampsons gave Lewis the strength to enter rehab once again and stay clean” (3). In their situation, their differences established a support system which only fostered their interactions. Inspired by Shapiro’s message of embracing meaningful relations and interactions, we should not let our differences refrain us from interacting with one another because, if we do, we are only limiting ourselves.
Thinking back to when I was sitting in the chair before the play started, I was stressing about what to look for in the play that I can relate to the class readings I read earlier in the day. With this in mind, the play began. Feverishly writing down notes to use in my event analysis, I noticed that I did not really understand the meaning of the play. It was at that moment that I realized the importance of interactions. I learned that, to fully understand the play, I actually had to allow myself to be interactive by making personal connections from which I would write my event analysis. The power of these interactions is everywhere we look, whether it is through the dialogue between a coach and their athlete or a husband and wife. In the performance of “bobrauschenbergamerica,” the performers revealed how we live amongst all these different people and how it is through our interactions with them that we are enabled to further understand ourselves.