Q: How far do you think that the last scene of Bond’s play the Sea is dramatically effective?
Symbolic Setting of the last Scene
The setting of the last scene is beech. That is very much symbolic. Life is like a sea. Sea never stops and so does life. People come and go but the flow of life is on. The vehicle of life goes on and on. Its drivers change but the driving seat is the same. The place in Rose’s life that was earlier claimed by Collin now is going to be possessed by Willy. Both of them are going to start a new life. The sea washed out Collin’s dead body and kept its course. The same will be done by Rose and Willy. They will perhaps forget everything about Collin and lead their own life.
The Inquest Ends
Evens, the drunkard of the opening scene proves a bit philosophical here in the last scene. He is sitting there and Hollarcut comes. He carries a big stick. Hollarcut seems in an aggressive mood. While they are talking, Willy crosses from there. He informs them that the inquest is done and they found nobody guilty of anything. According to them, some people go to sea in bad weather and put the coast guard in difficulty. Evens tells him that Hollarcut had intentions to kill him. Willy advises him to move to the town for some days but he reveals that he does not care.
Evens Gets Philosophic
Evens says that there must be other worlds but to visit humans doesn’t worth the trip. He begins like a philosopher and ends with the words that the entire universe is in a continuous process of change. It kills the elements and then recreates. The world goes on like this in this universe. What amuses him most is: "All destruction is finally petty and in the end, life laughs at the death.” However, he admits human suffering and pain which comes during the universal nature of change:
"Suffering is a universal language and everything that has a voice is human.”
He reveals why the draper, Hatch, is afraid:
"Not of things from space, of us. We are becoming the strange visitors to this world.”
He questions the production of bombs and ammunition. He sees a future when will consider themselves happy when they don’t have such things. Willy asks Evens if he should stay in the town and work hard to change it, the answer is that he should go away. But he must "change the world” still.
Evens’ Speech, a Mixture of Rationality and Anger
The play ends with a long speech by Evens to Willy that is his credo, “I believe in the rat”. The speech is a mixture of rationality tempered with spent anger. It praises survival and we hope that Willy, to whom it is addressed, will take this course. Evens adopts a very sarcastic angry tone to discuss the theme of change.
Evens: Yes. We sit here and the world changes. When your life’s over, everything will be changed or have started to change………There’ll be no more tragedy. There’s no tragedy without grass for you to play it on. Well, without tragedy no one can laugh, there’s only discipline and madness. You see why the draper’s afraid. Not of things from space, of us.
Hope for Better Future
In the final scene, Willy expresses hope for ‘a better world’ prompting Evens’ reply,
‘Then why will they fill it with bombs and germs and gas? You’ll live in a time when that happens and people will do nothing’
When Rose comes there asking Willy to come because packing is done. Willy tells her that he "came to say goodbye”. And again almost at the end of the play Evens seems to be optimistic about the future. As he says:
“No. Go away. You won’t find any more answers here. Go away and find them. Don’t give up hope. That’s always silly. The truth’s waiting for you, it’s very patient, and you’ll find it. Remember I’ve told you these things so that you won’t be despair. But you must still change the world.”
Theme of Violence
Violence is a tool for Bond to criticize society. A very good example of violence is Hatch’s violent attack on Colin’s dead body. In the last scene, this theme is voiced by Willy when he is talking to Evens.
Willy: Perhaps they’re all busy killing each other and killing other things. But what if they’ve killed everything up there? Then they might come here to kill us. I mean, that’d be a reason for coming. If they badly needed some more things to kill. That would make the long trip worthwhile. A space safari. Perhaps we’re just violent little vermin to them. Not to be taken seriously. Just sport.
Evens’ Concern for Willy and Rose
Evens like Mrs. Rafi earlier, advises the two high-born young people to go off together, which they do: a surprisingly traditional comedy ending, though perhaps appropriate in a play whose verdict on society’s view of the tragedy that “they’ll make a law against it.” Tragedy or comedy or something between, this is a play that operates, in scope and language, on a near-Shakespearean level.
Union of Willy and Rose
(Rose comes on) and says:
“I followed you. The packing is finished. We mustn’t miss our train. I saw you talking. What were you saying?”
Willy: I came to say goodbye, and I’m glad you…………”
Willy, at the end of the last scene, takes Rose out of the town that creates a link with the play-within-play rehearsed in scene 4.