Essay, Research Paper: Overtones By Gerstenberg


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In Alice Gerstenberg’s “Overtones”, she presents two deceitful women, both
insanely envious of the other, who meet one day over coffee. Two other actors
living out their true feelings and being honest show the jealous, rude, but
truthful, side of each of the women. The real women put on an act, saying or
doing nothing that they actually feel towards each other; they are entirely
dishonest. The play illustrates how envy leads straight to hatred and
unhappiness, which I believe to be the theme. How can you love yourself when you
are longing to be someone else, wanted everything they have and hating them for
it? The message I got from the play was that deep jealously has only negative
effects and to be happy you must be your true self and true to yourself. The
play made me see how silly it is when one puts on phony layers to impress
another. Because there were two different mindsets of the women, I would have
two of everything, one on a lower stage and then a set just like it on a raised
stage. The women hid their true feelings, so I would place the primitive ones on
the raised stage back from the audience, behind a layer of sheer material. The
raised stage can be thought of somewhat like a mind bubble. As everyone shows a
fake side of himself sometime, I want the audience to relate to the play and to
see themselves in somewhat of a similar situation. I want there to be known
tension between the real women, but I also want to create humor between the
counterparts as a relief of the tension between the two different women, using a
lot of sarcastic language and actions. I want the audience to leave feeling
thankful for what they have.
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