The play itself was extremely thought provoking. The first half is basically set-up which leads to the climax that occurs in the second half. There are many issues addressed in this play. Talbot, one of the main characters, is the victim of child molestation by a priest whom he trusted. He has to decide whether or not to tell the police and be a victim for the rest of his life. The Church authority in Quebec City dictates what people think by banning books, plays, and other forms of art. It stunts creativity in the area, which Sarah Bernhard points out near the end of the play. Through Brother Casgrain and the archbishop, the church is trying to silence Talbot by offering a better life for his family, who are relying on him. They say it's his duty to protect the image of the church, and throughout the play Talbot struggles with what they're telling him to do. He does everything that he can't do as a priest (sex, drugs, gambling) to fight the choice that he eventually makes (to lie). The play also criticizes child labor, and consumers not asking questions about where their products come from as long as they're cheap. While doing this (the scene where the adults are sitting in the factory), the play is criticizing the futility of talking about an issue while it's occurring (they're talking about how terrible child labor is while a boy literally dies beneath their feet). By seeing these situations play out before me, I gained perspective on them. For example, I looked at the injustice of oppression and power, which had only been a foreign concept to me beforehand.
This play is rich with social commentary and character development, which could be discussed for hours, and that's exactly the point. A play is successful if it is discussed and analyzed and remembered. If a play can teach us something, while keeping us engaged, it has done its job. This play discusses many less than happy situations, and yet we enjoy it as much as any happy ending, because it is eye opening. Sarah, who originally comes across as self-consumed, actually turns into an inspirational character who gives Michaud perspective. We, as viewers, parallel Michaud's journey of naivety to understanding. We feel his emotions when he finally realizes what the truth of the world is, and we, like him, leave when the play is over and decide to be different, to question more, to look at life a different way.