“P’tang Yang Kipperbang” by Jack RosenthalWorks Cited Not Included
Alan is a 14 year old adolescent. He is a typical teenager,exceedingly self-conscious, has strong sexual interests and desiresand thinks he is ugly and fat, so starves himself.
Alan is the ultimate anti-hero. A traditional hero is loved and enviedby all, is good at what he does, very popular, superhuman in terms ofstatus and good looks, who saves and helps the needy, a person whopeople look up to.
Furthermore, Alan is ugly, forgotten by all, a no-one, the mostostracized person in the school. People feel sorry for him and pityhim, he’s continuously late to school, as he misses the bus and has torun to school (scenes 4-5), lazy, unsystematic and neglectful (scene3), weak, gauche, socially and physically clumsy. He can only sharehis personal thoughts about girls and Ann in particular to God, who heasks every morning, “Just one kiss. One’ll do.” (Scene 2)
Additionally, he is an idealist, a daydreamer, always talking to Tommyabout world issues, the United Nations (scene 14) and winning worldpeace. He is obsessed with Ann, especially her lips, and kissing her,but not doing ‘the other things’ to her. He is also very passionateabout cricket; that is his life; playing and dreaming about it inevery day situations. He has very strong sexual desires, but as hisfriends talk openly about it (Shaz and Abbo), he just can’t bringhimself to talk about ‘the other things’.
Shaz: “Some do. Some charge eight bob. The blondes.”
Abbo: “For the lot?”
Shaz: “The whole hog. Everything. Completely bare. They won’t kiss,though. That’s an unwritten rule.”
Alan: “They won’t kiss?” (Scene 31)
Alan: ” which means that, from now on,…
…mature, and the workmen are sayingthat life’s hard, and you just keep on moving from one difficulty toanother. They reflect upon his moods, and make comments, some of whichI think are meaningless.
One of the workmen’s opening comments talks about the Bomb. What hasthe Bomb got to do with Alan’s behaviour? The answer is nothing. It isused to just add humour to the play.
Workman 1: “Millions of pounds on education.”
Workman 2: “It’ll be with him living under the shadow of the Bomb, Iexpect.” (Scene 4)
The addition of the cricket commentary and workmen is for the mainpurposes for the audience, as it is a play. Also, to provide humour,set the theme of the play, adolescence, and to comment on the moralissues of the play.
I think the addition of the cricket commentary and workmen providesmore life into the play and a little humour as well.