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Sure Thing

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Submitted By Shelnutt
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In The Play "Sure Thing" (Ives, p. 643), the characters Bill and Betty are strangers looking for a connection. Taking a chance, they engage in conversation as a bell rings they change their stories in each conversation if it does not lean towards a perfect match. Bill reinvents himself on multiple occasion to impress Betty for her approval. Testing the waters with Betty, he asks a series of silly questions and even makes a few statements in hopes to get the right response from her such as, “I believe that a man is what he is. (Bell.) A person is what he is. (Bell.) A person is . . . what they are. So what if I admire Trotsky? (Bell.) So what if I once had a total-body liposuction? (Bell.) So what if I don't have a penis? (Bell.) So what if I once spent a year in the Peace Corps? I was acting on my convictions. Nope. Straight-down-the-ticket Republican. (Bell.)Straight-down-the-ticket Democrat.(Bell.)Can I tell you something about politics? (Bell.) I like to think of myself a citizen of the universe. (Bell.) I'm unaffiliated. (Ives, p.646) I believe the question that he asks is the anxiety that we put on ourselves as society when we are out on a first date. We want the other person to like us, so we ask questions to have an understanding of the other person. Each scene starts over at the ring of the bell, I believe the bell ringing gives them the opportunity to correct any mistakes they may have made. This allows them to reinvent themselves going back to the part of the conversation that worked and allowing them to delete what went wrong. Betty and Bill work through the conversation through trial and error until they finally perfect the “true love” they are looking for.

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