The Social Experience
The social experience was one that I did not expect to have an effect on the overall experience at all, but I was wrong. I went with my friend, and although we were both very tired and stressed, after the performance we felt the opposite. We both bonded over the play, were able to debate the ending after and both felt like we had gone through the experience together. Similarly, everyone around me were strangers, yet throughout the play, we all experienced similar emotions and afterword we all discussed it together. I still do not know any of there names, but I would not consider them strangers anymore. Plays have a strange way of bonding random groups of people, and I loved it. Shared experiences are very important to the Good Life for they are what bond groups of people and give them the emotions and experiences to talk about their feelings and relate to one another. I also put this picture I took because my friend and I thought it was really cool!
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The culture of the play was one I had never even thought of in reality. it had always just seemed like a part of history. the most profound aspect was the factory workers, specifically the child labor. I did not realize how important it was for children to work, yet also how dangerous. Seeing the young boy have to hide beneath the adults for the sake of the company's reputation really struck a chord with me. I did not start working until I was 17 years old, and some people even thought I was too young. The though of working at just 10 or 11 years old is very frightening. Children should not have to work and provide for their family, but at the time of the play, they absolutely did. The play made me judge the mothers of children who worked much less, for I realized they did care for their children greatly and did not want to have them work, there simply was not enough money being earned to keep the family healthy.
The Emotional Experience
Similar to what I discussed above, the play portrayed a time and experience that I ,and many people, had never pictured in reality. There were no movies of that time, not many pictures, and definitely not popular plays depicting real people's lives. This play definitely forced the audience to view these people not as a part of history, but as real people with real feelings. Child labor was not just a horrible thing that happened a while ago, but we were forced to watch it occur. Watching something so controversial is a very emotional experience and definitely makes one realize their ignorance of just reading about such events in textbooks. The play depicts katharsis for it shows the real lives of factory workers, the real lives of adults who had been child molested, and a famous actress who was not necessarily happy. All three of these go against assumptions and norms of any society. The owner of the factory had to come clean about the child labor, the priest had to admit to child molesting, and Sarah Bernhardt had to accept that she was not wanted in certain areas.