We read lots
of books on different themes. As you know it’s a matter of taste. But to my
mind everybody should read the play "The square root of wonderful” because
of many reasons. First of all, the plot is quite interesting. And the second
reason is that the author tries to answer some significant questions like what
is life itself, what do we live for and how to make your own life happy- just
to figure out a square root of wonderful? But what is it? Everybody understands
these words in his own way…
But let’s think about it concerning the play. The main heroin of it is Mollie.
Her life with her ex-husband Phillip is extremely difficult. He is too selfish
to love Mollie. In fact he is incapable of loving anyone. And poor Mollie just
has to bear this, perhaps because they have a son, or maybe just because she
wants to be happy and so she thinks that if she has a family she is completely
happy. But her position is cardinally changed when she meets John Tucker- an
architect, who promises Mollie to build a big house for her and her son, to
love and respect her and to be with her all the time. And it is him who tells
Paris (Mollie’s son) about his theory, about the square root of sin and
wonderful. He teaches the boy what’s good and what’s bad. He says that
humiliating people is the square root of sin. But what is the square root of
wonderful, everybody decides by himself. For John they are Mollie, a happy life
with her, devotion and faithfulness.
Of course there are many other themes in the play, but I guess that’s the most
important one. Well, as usually the play has a happy end. And I think by this
the author wants to say that we all "build” our life as we want. And it
depends only on us whether it’s good or not. We just should think a little and
try to derive this formula of happiness
Affection blinds reason
root of wonderful” is a humorous tragedy. The style is rather new and specific.
The first two acts differ from the third one very much. They are filled with
dialogues in which the characters reveal information about themselves: their
fears, their histories, and their dreams. Only the third act is divided into
two scenes, and it contains the most action. In act 3, Phillip's death takes
place, Mollie's plans to move to New York are suggested, and she takes the
first real steps away from her ex-husband into a more stable life with John.
The third act is also the least humorous, if not to say very serious.
The author raises several themes in the play. For example, the theme of choice,
the theme of love, the theme of death and the theme of disconnectedness. I’d
like to speak about the first ones.
There is a kind of love triangle in the play. Phillip is in love with Mollie.
And John is in love with Mollie. As for Mollie, she seems to love both of them.
In my opinion, she’s in love with John. And her feelings to Phillip are pity
and passion. That’s where the problem of choice takes place. Mollie can return
to the life she knows with Phillip, a life sure to include physical violence,
alcoholism, and emotional trauma. Or she may begin a new life with John, one
that will include a nice house and a stable lifestyle. Such a choice would be
very easy for most people to make, but not for Mollie, as she’s still in love
with Phillip. She loves Phillip, even though she doesn’t want to
But what happens if there are more than 2 summands? There are many answers. The
play "The square root of wonderful” gives us one of them.
First, let's talk about the summands.
Mollie's husband № 1. He is a writer but not well-known. Yes, once he has faced
a great success, but, unfortunately, only ONCE. He is egoistic that means that
he thinks only about his own feelings and needs: the only ONE person matters –
he himself. Philip says that he loves Mollie but they fall apart again and
again. And he is ALONE again. He's "1”.
second man Mollie fell in love with. But is he number 2? I doubt. He's just another
"1”, single, loving, devoted... An architect who promises to build not just a
house, but a HOME for Mollie. He seems to be a perfect man. He + Mollie =
perfect family? May be, may be...
What can I say about her? She is overwhelmed by her feelings. Always. She's too
irrational and affected to control the stream of life he's been brought into.
Too impetuous to be a good mathematician. And, as a result, instead of 1 man to
love she has 2.
people. The eternal triangle. Algebra turns out to be geometry? No, it turns
out to be a tragedy. Philip commits suicide and... Triangle – Philip = Mollie +
Has Philip found the right solution? Who knows... we've got no right to judge.
But still, the answer has been found and if it doesn't satisfy you... well...
As I've said, there could be many more answers and this one is just one among
can't explain why we feel something to somebody or why we act in this or that
way. In the play we see Molli Lovejoy. She has a son and a husband. She also
has a hero-worshiper. Phillip, her husband, doesn't live with the family, he is
a genius, a man of moods. He needs Molli, but don't care about her and her
feelings. Phillip comes to his wife only when it's necessary for him. On the other
hand there is John, the best friend of Molli, who loves her very much. He is
pragmatist and ready to do everything to make Molli and her son happy. But
Molli... She can't choose between these two men. The life full of passion with
Phillip or the calm life with John.
Carson McCullers, the author of the play, wants to show us a kind of love
triangle: Phillip - Molli - John. Molli can't imagine her life without Phillip,
because she got used to him. But she knows that Phillip can't protect her,
because he needs her protection. Yes, he is a genius, but he is also a child. A
small and gullible child. And John is always ready to help and support Molli.
The main message of the play is that there are two ways of family life:
passionate, vivid, but absolutely unstable relationships or calm, but
unswerving love and assurance that nothing bad will happened. It's very
difficult to combine the best sides of these two types of relationships. But
some couples can do this.
You know, people very often choose momentary pleasure and don't think about
their future. A man loves his woman, idolizes her, but don't care about her
feelings, because he is an egoist. All people are egoists. But some of them
sometimes think about their relatives and friends.
Molli is the square root of wonderful for Phillip and John, but they don't care
about their ladylove. And Molli can't decide what kind of relationships is
better for her.
Everybody choose the best way for him/her. But we should remember that furious
and passionate life sometimes don't have any significance. And on the other
hand calm life is not always boring and dull.
Live to love
McCullers’ "The square root of wonderful” is definitely a story about
different dimensions of love. In the play we see a love triangle between
Mollie, Phillip, her ex-husband, and John. The plot involves the effort to
understand what love actually is and why people can’t comprehend their feelings
and emotions when they are in love.
tells us a story of Molly and John, an accidental man, who she met on the road
and then fell in love with. Their relationships were developing swiftly, and it
seemed that nothing could bother them. But in a week Mollie’s ex-husband came
back from the insanity house. Now she has to tell John the story of her love
with Phillip. She cannot understand why she married him twice, what an
invisible power drew them together time after time. She tells John that she was
under Phillip's spell, drawn as if by an irresistible force, as if they were
But at the
same time she loves John, and this love is of another kind. Some kind of a
savior love, she says. When Phillip returns, she recollects about her feelings
towards him again. But Phillip sees that Mollie is in love with another man.
Notwithstanding the power that draws her to Phillip, she wants to forget him.
The only effective escape from the unhealthy love relationship with Phillip
seems to be another love relationship, the one with John. Only connecting
romantically to John Mollie can free herself from Phillip. And Phillip has no
other way out, but committing a suicide.
may seem rather sad, but the author’s message is quite understood. Love can
really be the only thing to live for, and we see what happens with those who
avoid loving. Another character, Sister, avoids love in the real world and
indulges in all sorts of love fantasies about men who never existed. This seems
to be a sad sort of solution, and quite unfulfilling. As we see in Phillip’s example,
it’s better to love, and without love it’s better to die.