Box the Pony

Length: 5 Pages 1328 Words

The dramatic and thematic concerns presented in scene five of, Box the Pony, by Scott Rankin and Leah Purcell, are important to the overall structure of the play. In scene five, we learn about the main character Steff, the fictional retrospect who plays Leah, who yearns for physical and spiritual escape. This scene also makes explicit the significance of the motif of the song, “Run Daisy Run”, and the “Pony”, that is referred to frequently throughout the play. Furthermore, we are introduced to Florence (Flo), Steff’s mother. It is in scene five that the audience is for the first time, formally introduced to Flo. We are already aware of the fact that Flo is a single mum to seven bastard children. In this scene, it is through Flo’s way of life, that the audience is able to learn about the constraints experienced by Aboriginal women; and due to Flo’s inability to cope with these constraints, she relies on alcohol and music as source of temporary comfort from her responsibilities. Paradoxically, we also learn that her temporary escape is also preventing the freedom of her child, Steff. In scene five, Purcell uses costume to construct Flo’s character, she finds a large pink floral sun frock, which she holds up Continue...


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, following an action, Flo begins to walk off, moving her hips in an exaggerated way... The audience is made aware of her adoption of western behaviour. We also conclude that her displacement as an aboriginal in the white society is also the reason she needs alcohol and music to escape. Nanna talks to Steff about freedom, the music also plays an important symbolic role. The song used particularly emphasises to the audience that Flo, unlike Steff's grandmother is not a traditional aboriginal woman, but moreover is trying to behave like a white person in her effort to escape from her responsibilities. We learn that Flo spends pension money on grog at the Pub, it doesn't seem to concern her that she has children at home. Primarily this is through the introduction of Flo and her alcoholism. It is made aware to the audience how Flo's alcoholism is the cause of her feelings of entrapment. However, we also learn that there may be hope for Steff through the influence of her grandparents as symbolised in the song 'run daisy run' and the 'pony'. This is to emphasise Flo's mood, depression she experiences in the society she is living in and how she uses music as a source of release. Nanna sings part of run daisy run, in traditional aboriginal ' woondah yarrmun taia nunnin kurra mulli kai ngun ngun tulla yani yani', the song relates directly to nanna's experience, the stolen generation, when officers took children from their families. It starts with 'Rockin all over the World moves on to "can't stop loving you' then 'I want to break free; and finally 'Leah'.