Am I Blue by Beth Henley

Essay by captainoats17University, Bachelor's February 2008

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Comedic JuxtapositionIn Beth Henley’s play, Am I Blue, two main characters are presented. The two characters, Ashbe and John Polk, exert diverse personality traits, which cause comedic situations to arise within the play. It is often the case in comedy that two characters will present characters that obtain various apparent differences. Ashbe has an overtly eccentric personality while that of John Polk is comparatively mild and plain. From the moment the two become acquainted, amusement ensues due to their juxtaposition and the situation in which they find each other. By analyzing both Ashbe and John Polk’s similarities and differences, the factors that create this comedy are found.

Ashbe, a blatantly outspoken and unconventional sixteen year old is a girl of nonstop chitchat. She, in her jeweled cat-eye glasses, feels free to express her opinion concerning whatever subject arises. Ashbe attends high school and to her, having the right friends means acceptance in today’s world.

However, she is alienated and considered an outcast worthy of being teased and ridiculed by the very group by which she wishes to be accepted. Comparatively, John Polk is a shy and level headed seventeen year-old who attends college as a freshman where he is also in a fraternity with his brother. Like Ashbe’s desire for acceptance, John wants to be acknowledged by his fraternity brothers. However, he does not want to experience rejection for thinking or acting against the crowd and admits to Ashbe that his brother convinced him to join the fraternity. In contrast to John’s conformity, Ashbe is a free spirited artistic person who believes in expressing individuality. Whether she is putting blue food coloring in drinks, making paper hats, or stringing Cheerios together to make a necklace, she expresses her individuality. By doing this, she attempts to show John how important it...