Theme Of Symbolism In The Tea Party

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The use of symbolism in Betty Keller’s play Tea Party is prominently focused on how isolated the characters Hester and Alma feel. The two elderly women in their late seventies do everything they can possibly think of to prepare themselves and their home for the boy who delivers their paper. The poor lonely women decide where it will be best for them and the boy to sit and discuss what topics they wish to converse with the boy. Meanwhile, they are also preparing a tea trolley with snacks and drinks to entice the boy to stay longer. Furthermore, the sisters even plot to have the boy return to bring them change for their payment. Everything they are doing to prepare for the boys’ visit revolves around how isolated the two women are, and …show more content…
At the opening, the sisters are discussing where each of them and the boy will sit while he is there. The two elderly women debate the best seat for the boy while facing the challenge of each wanting the boy to be near her but also keeping him farther from the door. When Alma decides where she will sit, Hester replies “But now he’s too far away from me, Alma.” (6). This exchange shows how each of them wants to soak up as much attention as they can possibly get from the boy. The ladies place a great deal of importance on how close they each are to the boy. These actions are demonstrative of the fact that they are both very lonely and desire another person’s presence. Hester and Alma put a lot of thought into something that most people never think twice about when they are expecting company. The seating arrangement, to them, is significant. The door symbolizes the boys’ departure and they would like to position him farther from it. Each woman would like the boy to be comfortable and to stay with them for as long as possible. The amount of consideration and importance that is given to something as simple as the seating arrangement shows how desperately lonely the siblings …show more content…
On the first Thursday of the month, the boy collects money for the paper. Hester asks Alma if she has the money. Alma replies saying “I’ve got a twenty-dollar bill, Hester” (42). Alma then proceeds to explain how they can get more than one visit from the boy if he doesn’t have change for the twenty. The lonesome women had tried to do this in the past with another boy named Dennis, but he always had carried change. The sisters were concerned that Dennis may have told the boy that he needed to carry change but thought it was at least worth a try. They wish for the company of another person so much that they have come up with this plan of overpaying the boy so that he will have to come see them again. Unfortunately, the boy never did stop to see the women. He collected money from the neighbors surrounding the two elderly women, but left the sisters their paper and went on. After the women had accepted that he was not going to visit them, Hester says “I think I’ll save that story for the meter man.” (66). Alma says to Hester, “They don’t read the meters for two more weeks” (69). It is as if she is disappointed that it will be two more weeks before another person will come to see

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