The Characters in The Foreigner are not what we expect

In the play write The Foreigner by Larry Shue we are introduced to two characters, Froggy and Charlie, two Englishmen who have travelled to Georgia to stay with a friend of Froggy’s. In this story, Froggy leaves Charlie at his friend, Betty’s house. Charlie confesses to Froggy that he isn’t so comfortable around others and doesn’t want to talk so Charlie quickly makes up a large charade that since Charlie is foreign he cannot speak English. Throughout the story, Charlie continues his charade of not being able to understand anything that the other characters are saying and finds out a lot of information and the scandalous activity of their town and lives.

The focus of this post is on the falsification of the characters. Each character has been described as one way in the beginning of the story, but we quickly discover that each character has a large secret behind them. For starters, Charlie is indeed not foreign and has the ability to speak and understand English. David, Catherine’s fiance has a huge secret of his own, the fact that he is a part of the Klan and plotting to get rid of Charlie and steal all of the family money from his fiance. The last large scandal is that David is attempting to manifest that Ellard (Catherine’s brother) has a disability and wants to keep the money away from him so David could keep it all for himself. When David says “No, I told him to bring you candle” (24). This quote is foreshadowing the falsification that David’s character portrays in the beginning because we know that his character is not sweet like we believe in the beginning and this quote shows that David is actually up to no good.

The Foreigner is a well written play of a comedy about two characters and many other characters that turn out to be nothing of what we expect them to be in the beginning.

Shue, Larry. The Foreigner. 1985.

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