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Cosi - Character Analysis

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TOPIC:   In the end, Lewis is a quietly transformed person who has achieved something important. Discuss.

ESSAY:
Cosi, a play written by Louis Nowra, is about a man who transforms himself from being timid and indecisive, into a man who knows what he wants and becomes more assertive. Lewis, the protagonist of the story, is a university student who is asked to choose a play and direct a group of mental patients to deliver a performance about love, and fidelity. Set in the 1970’s during the time of the Vietnam War, there is much controversy between the characters. Lewis sets out on his journey of transformation, finally realising his own desires and finding the person he is. We are introduced to Lewis along with other characters, most of which have somewhat conflicting mentalities and values. One of these characters happens to be Lewis’ “girlfriend”, Lucy, whom along with best friend Nick, and mental patient Doug believe in the idea of “free love”. At the time, free love was not looked upon so poorly in comparison to society today. These are examples of barriers that hinder Lewis’ transformation, however through it all, and through characters with similar views like Roy, Julie, Ruth, and Cherry, he is able to succeed. His kiss with Julie, the realisation that Lucy is not the girl he thinks she is and saving the show from Doug’s pyromaniac episode, are all turning points for him and are all steps towards his transformation.

The first step in Lewis’ transformation is near the middle of the play, where they’re beginning to discuss their options and where Doug ignites a fire in the bathroom. Lewis realises that the mental patients are people too and just need a little tolerance to work with. On Justin’s entry, Cherry takes the blame for Doug’s actions when they are asked about the incident and in doing so,   Justin (the worker at the mental institution) allows the patients and Lewis to continue working on Cosi. As a result, the bond between Lewis and the mental...

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