Honestly, I hadn’t the slightest idea what to think about Churchill’s Far Away. Part of me still doesn’t.
I love the absurdity of making hats for (what I’ve gathered to be) prisoners on death row. It’s such a pointless charade much like an inmate’s final meal or the security theater perpetuated by the government in the U.S. The hats are used as a distraction, a way to get the public (and the workers) not to think about the injustices being carried out against the citizens on a daily basis.
The lines that stuck out to me most comes in the beginning of scene 2, pages 17-18.
TODD You’ll find there’s a lot wrong with this place.
JOAN I thought this was one of the best jobs.
TODD It is.
Many might say I’ve been disillusioned by growing up a member of the working class, but there is so much truth in this exchange. I don’t think the U.S. is really at this stage of being controlled just yet, but it seems as though we are headed that way. If there is a lot wrong with something that is supposed to be among the best, then what in the world can be said about what is average, and worse, what is just plain bad?
Oddly enough the play reminds me a bit of the video game Bioshock (light spoilers ahead). The city of Rapture was sold as a utopia in which people could go live (under the sea, of course). Like any utopia, however, society broke down and everything fell apart on New Years 1959, one year before the player comes to find Rapture. In the end, like Far Away, there is a full blown war going on between the survivors, fighting for a drug-like substance called ADAM.
I suppose the main point of all of this is that control only leads to chaos. The government cannot control its entire populous with so heavy a had without expecting it to backfire. The idea of a utopia has the same principle. Utopias will only break down because there are too many rules and expectations for conformity.
Churchill, Caryl. Far Away. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2001. Print.