Drawer Boy is 1999 play written by Michael Healey. The play is set in an Ontario farm where a young actor, Miles who is doing research on an upcoming theatrical play on farming interacts with the owners of the farm. The two owners are Angus who is middle aged man suffering from memory loss after a supposed accident during the Second World War while the other one is Morgan who is also a middle aged farmer who is taking care of Angus. In the play, Angus is constantly referred to as the drawer boy because prior to his memory loss, he used draw and design buildings. He has architectural skills and abilities although his care taker seems to not want him to go back to this activity. Morgan reassures and calms his friend Angus through constant retelling of their story and about the set of women who they loved during the World War and who alter came to live with them in Canada. However, as the play proceeds, the young man Miles realizes that there are some elements of the story that are inaccurate and confronts Morgan about it. The Drawer Boy can be considered to be a story about brotherhood and sacrifice and the playwright seems to suggest one thing throughout the play and this is that loyalty and sacrifice can make individuals go to great lengths such as lying so as to make their subjects feel better. In addition t the recipient of the sacrifice and loyalty, he or she is completely oblivious of the sacrifices being made for him and this makes the sacrifice worth it because one does not feel that he owes the other.
Sacrifice and loyalty means going to great lengths to protect a certain belief or objective. Morgan lies to his friend Angus for a period of over thirty years about their prior history. According to Morgan, Angus was supposedly injured when a door hit him after an explosion occurred nearby. Morgan does not in fact make direct reference to Angus but rather narrates it as if it is a fictional story about two childhood friends when he is in fact referring to him and Angus. Although talks about one of the boys being a drawer boy, he does not tell Angus point blank the he is the one the story is referring to. This is an exemplification of how loyalty and sacrifice to a person can make one lie for a considerably long time period just because they do not want to hurt them. Morgan understands that the truth may too hard for Angus to bear and he therefore chooses an avenue that is relatively easy to handle for both of them. In addition, he prefers to tell the story that way because it is also helps to make peace with himself because he knows that he is ultimately to blame for the accident. Morgan also lies to Angus about the two women who they had fallen in love and who they had brought back with them to Canada. He claims that they died in an accident but in real sense, the two women left them especially because of Angus which occasionally made him mean such that at one time he hit one of them and they consequently left. Morgan maybe fears that if he tells his friend the true story, his memory might come back and he may be tormented by his actions.
The recipient of the sacrifice or loyalty is many occasions oblivious to these two virtues. In the Drawer Boy, the recipient of loyalty and sacrifice is Angus. Angus lives with his friend Morgan and due to the fact that his memory only lasts for a span of few minutes, he lives a relatively worriless life. He is unaware of the sacrifice that his friend Morgan makes to him and also the loyalty shown to him throughout the years since his memory loss. Morgan reassures him constantly by telling him a revised version of their former lives but he is completely oblivious to this. The playwright uses Morgan to show how the recipients of sacrifices and loyalty do not in many occasions realize it and they live on with their lives normally therefore making it even harder for the person advancing the sacrifice. Morgan is constantly reassured by Morgan about a story of their lives. He however sadly doesn’t realize it. His obliviousness is used to maybe pass a message that sacrifice is better accentuated if it is only knowledgeable to one person.
In many occasions, there may be a third party who witnesses the sacrifices being made by another party and wishes to inform the other whom the sacrifice is being advanced to. Miles at first seems to be an innocent third party to the lives of Morgan and Angus. However, as time proceeds, he starts to question the motives of Morgan and deduces that he may be lying. Miles arrival at the farm may be a blessing in disguise because he is the one who is able to stimulate the memory gain of Angus by retelling the story which Morgan tells him, only in a more accurate manner such that it stimulates Angus mind and makes him regain his memory. By slowly helping Angus to remember about his forgotten passion for drawing, he is essentially setting forth the journey towards redemption of Morgan and Angus. Miles is also the common ground between Angus and Miles. Friends tend to disagree sometimes and this is where another third party is required. Through Miles, Angus is finally able to realize the sacrifice that Morgan has made for him throughout all these years.
In conclusion, it is clear to see that Drawer Boy shows that sacrifice and loyalty can make individuals go ernomous lengths such as full scale lies so as to make their subjects feel better about themselves and not hurt. The playwright as shown above uses the three characters to embody this. By the end of the play, all the characters especially Angus and Morgan realize that it that in spite of the fact that some lying was involved, it was the ultimate sacrifice that kept them together all these years and in fact increased the resolve of their friendship. The message to the public is that friendship is a dynamic journey that requires a lot of sacrifices and undivided loyalty.
Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. “The Drawer Boy.” [Online] 14 August 2008. <http://www.canadiantheatre.com/dict.pl?term=The% 20Drawer%20Boy>