Themes and Important Topics in The Sea by Edward Bond
The Sea Themes: "The Sea", set in the rural background of North Cost of England, was intended as a satirical comedy by the author but deep tragic elements overshadow the comic aspect of the play. The playwright successfully illustrates man's ability to survive the worst while remaining optimistic and manfully facing the madness and injustice of the world. Bond wanted to emphasize "the strength of people, on their ability to change their society". The relationship between individual and society as well as Nature has been serious and gloomy; therefore, the author wants "to make the people laugh and experience human strength" in a light-hearted manner. Bond encourages the audience to "change the world", for betterment must be desired. He believes in social change with the will of individuals. With this aim of change, the playwright directs his satire on the rigid, aggressive and repressive class structure of English society.
Amid the sad and tragic environment of the play, change seems evident. Everybody feels for the change. Everybody yearns for it but nobody attempts it in that town. It requires hope and the ability to conflict with the dominant society. Mrs. Rafi "so tired of" the way the town people respond, she wants the coast guard to do its duty honestly and professionally but her voice has no effect. She wants the town people to work but nobody listens to her though they are afraid of her. Evens, the drinker, has left all hope of change; therefore, he lives outside the town on the beach. He, too, desires change. Hatch, the draper, wants positive change in life as well but he cannot stay against the likes of Mrs. Rafi. Since nothing changes from within the town, therefore, change comes from without in the form of Willy Carson, a truthful but neglected individual.
Primarily, the conflict between individual and society as well as the desire for change is depicted in the character of Willy. He is not native of this town. He is the symbol of change in this pessimistic and lunatic town. He is also symbolic of the truth which is doubted by most. He tells the people around him of Colin's drowning but nobody believes him except Mrs. Rafi and a few. He stands as a voice for the oppressed ones while the society is unable to listen. He is the voice of positive change. In the midst of extreme madness, he is the only one that remains sensible and positive. He appears as a linking force between the oppressed and the oppressor. He relieves Rose from agony of the loss of Colin. He brings her back to the present life.