Diving for Pearls - Barbara and Den

677 Words3 Pages
Lit essay: What is the relationship between Barbara and Den? How does the opening scene of the play establish the relationship? The opening scene of the play Diving For Pearls by Katherine Thompson reveals much to the audience about the relationship that has existed between Barbara and Den, and hints about what could happen in the future. Symbolism and stage directions are just as important as dialogue in establishing end explaining the relationship. It is clear from this scene that Barbara and Den have previously had a romantic relationship, but are now at odds with each other, however, it is hinted that this will change. The relationship between Barbara and Den is made explicit through dialogue. It is clear that Den is far more interested in rekindling their relationship than Barbara through the use of lines such as “I was hoping to see you”. Barbara, in turn, shows her disinterest by refusing to acknowledge that Den has complimented her and continues to talk about the funeral, attempting to avoid conversation about their relationship. Den’s interest is further shown when he says “I’ve been thinking about you – quite a bit.” Which is followed by Barbara’s rejection; “shocking bloody view – look at that” which is completely unrelated to what he has said to her. The audience can see that any relationship between the two would end badly because they clearly do not communicate well. Den does not assert himself, and allows Barbara to monopolise the conversation, even though it is obvious that he wants to talk about them rather than the meaningless small talk that Barbara is insisting on. It is through these interactions that we can see that the dialogue in the first scene is integral to the audience’s understanding of the relationship between Den and Barbara. The symbolism in the first scene also works to develop our understanding of the relationship
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