Prevailing Themes in Swamp Gravy
Cera D. Ridley
October 12, 1999
South Georgians from different backgrounds, sharing various experiences in life, all have a story to tell.Swamp Gravy portrays these real life stories with a unique staging technique, allowing the audience to be involved and participate during the performance.The play illustrates folk life in the past and celebrates the way things use to be when life was simple.The stories told in Swamp Gravy are derived from local tales and histories of the community that reveal themes about death, family, and relationships.
The theme of death was evident in thefirst act of the play.The main character, Harvey, was only a young child when his mother died a month after giving birth to a baby girl.After his mother’s death, Harvey and his five other siblings were separated and labeled as orphans.Harvey had no mother and his father was not a positive figure in Harvey’s life.He felt a sense of abandonment, loneliness, and a voidance of love.As the play progressed, a young girl who lost her big brother in a car accident told another story about death.The younger sister admired and looked up to her older brother.She was saddened by the death of her brother, but she held on to the memory of him, as did Harvey remember his mother.
Swamp Gravy exemplified the importance of family throughout the play.A large family was common and displayed a sense of unity and love.Harvey’s youngest sister was adopted when she was a baby.She always felt emptiness in her heart and often dreamed of someday meeting her biological family.Harvey, also determined to find his baby sister, never gave up hope.During one scene of the play, a family convened in the swamp for a family reunion.Even though the family’s cousins were escaped convicts, the family still wanted to inclu…