Ruby Moon, a play written by Matt Cameron, is perhaps one of the masterpieces that define the integrative nature of the modern-day world art. This is a play that tells of a tragic dilemma facing a couple, which is attempting to accept Ruby’s disappearance. In any family, there would be grief when a family member disappears. Neither the daughter’s disappearance nor the couple’s grief resolved. Indeed, it ends much as it started. Ruby Moon is the central focus of this particular paper. As such, the present study seeks to determine the manner in which the dominant theme explored in the play, which, in this case, is grief, is explored through the use of theatrical conventions and technique. The plot, characterization and dialogue are the theatrical conventions and technique to be analyzed to fulfil the purpose of this particular paper.
Foremost is the plot. As it can be seen throughout the play, each causal sequence of the underlying events portrays a sense of grief. The grief all starts when the daughter disappears. As the play shows, this makes the parents spend days and nights grieving about the disappearance. They initiate their inquest aiming to obtain clues about the disappearance. They approach several individuals with the aim obtaining answers that could be applied to solve the issue regarding Ruby. However, their inquest leads to further grief as they do not get any clue. While the couple is about to give up hope, the arm belonging to Ruby’s doll appear in their letterbox. This sparks further grief as they start fearing that their daughter might have been mutilated. However, they do not give up hope and instead, they carry on with their investigations. However, in each move that they make during their inquest, grief is sparked. In the light of this, it can be determined that the playwright maintains the theme of grief with each sequence in the play. In fact, the audience learns that the play is typified by grief, which is one of its themes.
As identified earlier, the playwright also uses characterization to explore the theme of grief. Characterization refers to the description of a character in their actions, thoughts, speech, as well as, interactions with other characters. The characterization of the couple is done in a manner that portrays that the couple is experiencing extreme grief. Take an instance of Sylvie Moon, She is characterized as a typical middle-class woman and mother who seemingly cannot overcome the grief of losing her beloved daughter. She portrays an infantile behaviour and tends to hear phantom phone calls. She is also exhibited as an unstable and a paranoid person, who has tendencies of constructing fantasies to accept the reality affecting her situation. Ray Moon’s characterization also exhibits grief. When the play starts, Ray is introduced as a person who makes concerted efforts to provide and protects his family. He is also depicted as a person who provides her wife with a shoulder to lean on especially when there are troubles.
Besides, he is presented to the audience as an individual who has great ability to control an underlying situation. However, following the disappearance of the daughter, Ray stops attending work, which is primarily due to grief. Grief can also be seen in the characterization of Sonny Jim. He is a veteran, as well as, a military enthusiast. As seen in the play, Sonny seems not to accept the loss of his mother, whom he loves and hates at the same time. The characterization of Dawn cannot also go unnoticed. Dawn, as it is revealed in the play, is a person who hates the way that she looks. She also wishes to change her name, her lifestyle, appearance and address and instead, adopt a new person, Rose. She indeed goes ahead and changes her appearance, covering her face with rubber bands. This clearly shows a character that is grieved by her appearance.
The dialogue employed in the play also contributes immensely towards the exploration or the portrayal of grief. In literal work, a dialogue is a technique commonly used to refer to conversations, whether written or spoken, between at least two people. At the heart of Ruby Moon is dialogue. As such, many characters are involved in dialogues. A good example is that between Sylvie and Ray, especially during the telephone incident. As such, the telephone rings and the two only stares at it. Ray asks his wife whether she is going to take that. Sylvie only stares at Ray, but she eventually picks it up. Such a dialogue seems to be entirely disconnected. Through the dialogue, it is evident that none of the two characters is willing to take the phone. Each is reluctant, and this clearly shows that they are already grieved by the loss of the girl and that they are anticipating for further grief.
In this paper, the aim was to determine the manner in which grief, as a dominant theme, is explored through the use of theatrical conventions and technique. It has been determined that the plot, the dialogue and characterization are among the techniques that clearly and precisely ensure the recurrence of the theme of grief. Therefore, it can be determined that the playwright exemplarily uses theatrical conventions and techniques to ensure theme flow, which in turn guarantees consistency in the story. This is an important feature as it ensures that the play remains credible and interesting. Therefore, Ruby Moon is undeniably a masterpiece.