Analysis Of Horton Foote's The Orphans ' Home Cycle

1421 Words Oct 26th, 2015 6 Pages
Horton Foote’s The Orphans’ Home Cycle tells a story of the Vaughn Family,

the people in the community of Harrison, Texas, and love. In Courtship, the entire

play takes place either outside the Vaughns’ home or on their porch. The porch,

being liminal, gives the characters opportunity to ponder changes in their lives

because the space itself is a change. Foote uses space to explore the fear of Mr.

Vaughn, who wants to keep his daughters home where he believes he can keep them

safe, but also to help convey the anxiety of Laura and willingness of Elizabeth to

explore the outside world.

Home, itself is not safe. It is a place where tragedy is frequently discussed.

Foote provides one example of tone inside the Vaughn’s home to show how it is not

as free of sorrow as Mr. Vaughn contends. Laura and Elizabeth are asked to play the

piano and sing. During this time, everyone else analyzes several doleful situations:

“’She tried to murder their cook. She thought she was poisoning her food’”, “’Dr.

Stone’s boy is in the asylum, you know’”, “’She committed suicide’” (11, 13). The

entire time Elizabeth and Laura are inside their home, everyone shares tragic

stories of personal breakdown. It is a symbol that home is not the best place because

it is supposed to be safe and comfortable, where as it actually is the polar opposite.

Inside, Laura and especially Elizabeth are at discomfort and eventually the two

sisters cannot handle it: “’What is it…

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