Far Away by Caryl Churchill was nothing less than confusing for me. Throughout the entire play, the world as Joan knows it slowly shifts into a manic depression where chaos begins to surround everyone and everything. What starts out as righteous beatings in a shed escalates to public executions, which seem primarily focused on spectacle rather than punishment due to prisoners wearing hats made for them. Furthermore, the brutality of these events seems to be overshadowed by the job that Joan and Todd have of making hats and winning competitions of “Best Hat.” No regard is held for the people who were just executed, however the hats who are burned with the bodies are held more important to Joan than the actually bodies of the prisoners. “It seems so sad to burn them with the bodies,” Joan states when talking about the hats with Todd (Act 2, Scene 6). It seems as though Joan and Todd are both blind to the events of public execution that have just took place, as well as the reason behind why they are even making the hats.
By the end of the play, the entire world has turned on everyone and everything within it. Inanimate objects, animals and nature itself is joining sides trying to find the right side to be on in this war. The destruction has escalated so far to the point where Joan questions what side the water will be on when she steps into the river, however “The water laps around your ankles in any case” (Act 3).
Churchill, Caryl. Far Away. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2001. Print.