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Joe in The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan - Book Report/Review Example

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Joe in The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan

"The central character is Joe, an independently wealthy ne'er-do-well who, like Squier in his aimlessness, spends his money freely and treating everyone unlucky to drink or cash." (Krasner, 19) Therefore, the character of Joe in this celebrated play is an important topic of analysis and discussion and this paper undertakes to analyze what makes him behave and speak as he does, how his interactions with other characters reveal his character, what are his chief limitations and, finally, how the character of Joe lives up to or fails to match Saroyan's opening declaration. In a close understanding of the major character in the play, it becomes lucid that Joe has been an important character revealing the major themes of the play and he lives up to the designs of Saroyan in the play, although there are views suggesting that none of the characters is completed developed to represent all the aspects of the playwright's points.
The character of Joe in the play The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan has been an important agent carrying the plot as well as the representation of the major themes forward and through this character the playwright suggests his major arguments. For example, it is through character of Joe that the playwright develops his major theme of success in the play, and he not only tells about this theme but shows it through the character. "Saroyan's descriptions and the actions of the characters are very telling and indicate that the author is interested in what makes someone a good or happy person beyond what is generally considered financial and social success in America. Joe, for example, has made such a large amount of money that he can afford to sit at Nick's without a job, drinking champagne. Yet, Joe indicates that he still searches for things that will make him happy. He cannot work because he cannot find anything that will not 'embarrass' him, so his success is in what he is able to give to those around him." (Themes) In the play, Joe is deeply unhappy with himself though he helps Tom and Kitty begin a new life together and listens to and believes the wild stories Kit Carson tells. He often suggests that he is not happy about the things that take place around him and he is always in search for goodness in life. He considers himself as a student who is seeking the realities of life. "Why I'm a student. Tom. I'm a student. I study all things. All. All. And when my study reveals something of beauty in a place or in a person where by all rights only ugliness or death should be revealed, then I know how full goodness this life is. And that's a good thing to know. That's a truth I shall always seek to verify." (Saroyan, 35) Therefore, in a close analysis of the character of Joe, it becomes obvious that the playwright represents his major ideas and themes in the play through this character and he is, undoubtedly, the most significant character in the play.
Joe, the central character of the play, has been represented as a gentle, loving soul, substantially composed and calm. Most of the action in the play happens in Nick's Saloon which serves as the best atmosphere for the character's mood and style and he spends his days drinking champagne at a table in the ...Show more

Summary

In one of the most celebrated plays by the Armenian-American playwright William Saroyan (1908-1981), The Time of Your Life, there is an especially significant combination of social commentary, farce, fantasy and an impressionistic realism. Whereas there are several significant elements in the play that make it a successful representation of the playwright's ideas, characterization is one of the vital elements behind the success of the play…
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