THE WORLD OF ENGLISH Thursday, 25.02.2021, 01:59
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Square root of wonderful

 The formula of life…


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


"The square 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 

Algebra of Love


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.

1.Philip. 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”.

2.John. The 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...

3.Mollie. 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.

Three 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 + John.
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 hundreds.

 Love and passion


Sometimes we 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

Carson 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.  

The play 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 two magnets.

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.

The story 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.


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