Lucy with the whole idea of performing
Lucy says to Lewis, “working with these people has changed you”. Has Lewis really changed at the end of the play? ‘Cosi’, written by Louis Nowra, is an intriguing (this is not a review Matt, so don’t use these descriptions) play that explores the minds of patients in the mental asylum and how they progress over time whilst being in the real world. (arent’ they removed from the real world whilst trapped in the confinements of the asylum? However it is not a patient that changes the most during the rehearsing and performing of ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ but it is the everyday society member Lewis whose experiences with the patients brings him out of his shell. Nowra represents Lewis’s transformation to the audience through his confidence building and his ability to stand up for himself. Also, the patients give Lewis very reasonable views on love and fidelity which seems to be one of the main topics up for discussion within the ‘Cosi’ cast.Lewis also learns that he has the ability to put himself first and not become such a door mat (remember not to use cliches) to the outside community who are perceived as the so called crazy ones by Nowra.
Lewis is certainly portrayed as a fish out of water (another cliche) in the beginning of the play, confronted with a monstrous task that seemed impossible to accomplish. His idea of the patients he was about to work with was one of crazed behaviours, even with the social worker Justin’s reassurance that “They are normal people who have done extraordinary things, thought extraordinary thoughts”.Roy, the most verbal patient, who came up with the whole idea of performing ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’, had the same amount of faith in Lewis as Lewis had in himself, which startled Lewis into forming a negative attitude towards the play.
Nowra expresses through a strong tone (don’t turn it into a language analysis) that Lewis’s demeanour shifts throughout the play. He visually sees what the patients are capable of doing; his understanding of them becomes stronger and believes the play will work. He gains the respect from the cast who come together and are able to provide the other patients with the show they were promised.Lewis was a changed man at the end of the play, and his views on certain issues had changed with some persuasion from the patients. Love and fidelity was a common theme throughout ‘Cosi’, and there were certainly many different views on the matter. At the opening of the play, we are introduced to Lucy whom Lewis is happily in a relationship with. Lewis believed that they were set in stone (um…another one! ) and extremely faithful to each other but the 1960’s were a time of free love and Lewis was blinded by his own stupidity.
It was brought to Lewis’s attention during the play that love is not what it is made out to be. “Love is not so important nowadays”. Roy along with Julie both believe that love is a pointless feeling that changes a human’s train of thought. “Love is hallucinating without drugs”.
Julie strongly believed that drugs were more important to her then love even after sharing a kiss with Lewis. Lewis finally comes around to his senses when he discovers that Lucy and his best friend Nick were having an affair. “No, she’s sleeping with you, we’re having sex”.Nowra switches sends a message to the audience to believe that the outside world is crazy immoral by involving Henry the quiet, reserved patient into the matter, who expresses his feelings to Lewis that women deserve to be treated respectfully and are faithful no matter what.
“My mother was faithful to my father everyday of her life Lewis was shown all the different sides to love and he definitely had a different opinion towards the matter at the conclusion of the play. With his new found beliefs Lewis becomes much more of an independent person throughout the play. v In the beginning of the play, Nowra articulates to the audience that Lewis struggles to make his way in the world without the guidance and direction from Lucy and Nick. He was practically being forced to being involved into something he was not passionate about. The moratorium was one of the biggest statements made in Australia’s war history and Lewis’s best friend Nick was the driving force behind their involvement in it, with the support of Lucy.
As he increased the time he spent with the patients in producing Cosi Fan Tutte, he formed a bond with the patients that he believed would get them through to completing the performance in time.Lewis decides that the patients are no different to the outside world community and at times can talk a lot more common sense then to those seen as “sane”. Lucy and Nick both realise that Lewis is slipping from them as he states that “I’m not going to let them down” referring to the patients and the play.
Nick does not understand Lewis’s decision and insults not only the patients but Lewis also. “What are you on about, too much time with the loonies Lewis”. Lewis stands his ground though, something that he would not have done at the start of the play as he believed that it was the right thing to do.
Lucy states to Lewis that “working with these people has changed you” . Nowra has indicated through Lucy that Lewis was a changed person at the conclusion of the play. He was more confident and self-sufficient in his decisions along with his new found perception on love and fidelity which all come about from the time he spent amongst the mental asylum community, of whom Lewis discovered were humans who looked for love and friendship just like the ‘sane’ outside the asylum walls.