Life is filled with difficult circumstances, which require subsequent realization. The play showcases a torn family with heavy emotional baggage. Subtle phrases said by characters indicate that old grievances are hard to forget. Psychological traumas that people experience are deep and can resurface even after decades. Some people find coming to terms with life so hard that the only way to move on is to escape the old reality.
Sisters Janice and Barb are the play’s major characters who had been separated at an early age. Janice was adopted and lived her life with a different family, having little contact with her biological relatives. Both sisters are traumatized by the separation, yet there is a drastic difference between their ways of managing the emotional pain. Barb blames Janice for the lack of connection and not being present. Janice numbed the pain by committing to a new family and environment.
Interestingly enough, Janice still possesses reminders of her old life, implying that she has not forsaken it. When she hears the news of their biological mother’s death, Janice is seemingly unaffected, yet her actions show her true feelings. She talks with Barb, gets acquainted with her companions, hosts them at her house. Although she initially refused to return, Janice agrees to come and say farewell to her buried mother, which underscores her remaining sense of connection to the family.
Ultimately, any significant loss, whether it is a family member or abandoning home, is always a mentally stressful experience. Janice’s solution to the psychological pain was to suppress it and let go of her family. However, emotional problems can have only emotional solutions, and they leave marks in a person’s mind. Physically escaping worked for Janice until the arrival of her sister triggered old trauma. Accepting the reality is essential in resolving mental issues, which cannot be accomplished by forgetting of suppression.
Taylor, D. H. (1998). Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth (3rd ed.). Talonbooks.