The Controversy of "Friendship" Essay

1869 Words Jul 13th, 2014 8 Pages
The Controversy of “Friendship”
The word “friendship” is a generic term, yet it is a topic with much controversy over its precise nature. Over the years, society has become misguided by materialistic and superficial values, and we’ve defined ourselves as “individuals” while disconnecting from everyone and everything. Friendship no longer carries significant philosophical importance to us because we live in a world where individualism predominates. Dawn Powell’s “Big Night” accurately depicts a time when all values are being overtaken by business values. The characters in the play all act with ulterior selfish motives, and Powell accentuates this theme of disillusionment through the dialogue and the characters’ interactions with each
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Like the friendship of utility, this type of relationship is fleeting and target of constant change. Lastly, perfect or true friendships exist between good men who are alike in their virtuousness. These types of people are hard to come by and it takes a lot of work to have a complete virtuous friendship regardless of utility or pleasure. However, “such a friendship is, as might be expected, permanent, since there meet in it all the qualities that friends should have” (Aristotle 149). By using Aristotle’s method of judging friendships, it is quite obvious that the nature of all the relationships seen in “Big Night” all fall under Aristotle’s friendship of utility, starting with Ed and Myra’s relationship.
From the start of the opening act, Powell gives numerous amounts of hints indicating that Ed and Myra did not have a stable relationship. It is apparent that Ed uses Myra constantly in order to gain favor of his clients by taking advantage of Myra’s physical attractiveness. He parades her like “a big show doll” (Powell 83) by convincing her to dress up for his customers and put on a sociable act as a loving housewife. At first it seems as if Ed is the only one using Myra for her beauty, and Myra is just trying to accommodate him because he is her husband. However,…

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