Since Am I Blue is a one Act play, the dialogue is important. So much information is related in a short amount of time. Two characters and their lives must be explained in a single Act. The dialogue also allows for the…
Through their dialogue the audience learns that John is a future farmer. He currently is in a fraternity at college. John plans on getting a business degree before going into the family farm business. He is a virgin and planning on visiting a prostitute that night. All of these life plans and history are told in a relatively short time. Ashbe tells John that she is a thief, practices voodoo, and even offers to sleep with him in this one Act play. All of this information comes out in the dialogue within a short amount of time. Only dialogue relays the information. If a Hollywood movie had been made about these two, the running time would be beyond the normal two hours.
Henley put so much information into her dialogue by throwing both of her main characters together and having them bear their souls to each other. The dialogue might not be what an ordinary individual might engage in, but it is believable. The dialogue is believable because of the characters. If the two characters had not been tragically flawed, John being an over pressured virgin, or Ashbe being a thief, the dialogue would not have worked. The dialogue also works because both characters are young. The young are not as guarded as an older group. The characters are what make the dialogue believable.
The timelessness of the dialogue also contributed to the play’s success. Only one term, which was “cathouse”, made reference to an older time. However “cathouse” could be a term that is used today. It is a term that could be reflected in New Orleans’ culture. Other than that one term all of the dialogue does not reflect a certain time or place.
Am I Blue is unique due to the dialogue. All of the information and timelessness related by the dialogue could not be achieved with action alone. The dialogue is what makes the play interesting and consuming. When the audience is finding out about John and Ashbe through the interesting ...
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