Saturday, November 6, 2010

Look Homeward, Angel by Kitti Frings (1958)

Summary:  The Gant family owns the Dixieland boarding house in North Carolina.  While Mrs. Gant does most of the work, Mr. Gant spends his time drinking and tending to his dwindling headstone business.  The play follows the lives of two of the Gant boys--Ben (who ends up dying from pneumonia) and Eugene (who falls in love with one of the boarders and is torn between staying at home with his woman and moving to Chapel Hill for college).  Ultimately, Laura (Eugene's love) reveals that she is already engaged and encourages him to go to Chapel Hill.

Thoughts:  This story chronicles what it is like for parents to watch their children grow up, and what happens when children discover that their parents are human beings with very real flaws.  Though Mrs. Gant has always fought her husband's desire to send Eugene to Chapel Hill, she ultimately finances Eugene's education at the end of the play.

Perhaps in a move away from a traditional family drama that includes only relatives, the story is set in a boarding house--allowing outsiders to witness the very personal interactions of the Gant family.

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