A teenage boy was supposed to be sent to prison, but - as the result of others- he was sent to psychiatrist. As a result of the confrontations - literally and metaphorically, as ideas are thrown about, - shared between these two characters, one is exposed to several themes. For instance, as the psychiatrist attempted to "normalize" the boy, the psychiatrist began to have doubts about the merits of his work. Was becoming like “everyone else” truly something to be desired? As quoted from the book, the psychiatrist thinks to himself, “The Normal is the good smile in a child’s eyes – all right. It is also the dead stare in a million adults. It both sustains and kills – like a God. It is the Ordinary made beautiful: it is also the Average made lethal.” Who decides what is desirable and supposedly normal? If participating in one activity or if “one thing” really makes you feel alive, even if others consider weird or strange – such as Alan’s intense fascination with horses- should someone (i.e. such as a psychiatrist) really try to take this away from you? The theme is somewhat similar to those concerning the present day prescription of medications for every supposed mental defect, that is, the prescription of norms and mores pushed on to every individual albeit individual differences and uniqueness. I think that the plethora of human characteristics, values, beliefs, etc. is part of what makes life interesting. Find out more about the various themes and characters by reading the play yourself : )
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