of the lovely cheeks

The Deal

don’t love too much, someone said. indeed, sometimes life teach us in the most unexpected way just like a huge jolt. sadly, many people can’t survive.

life is temporal, perhaps that’s what some people might say. they said don’t love too much because everthing is mortal. it may be true. once I got so much love that I gave only to one person, I got hurted so bad.

some people go crazy when their wife/husband died. some people are just being insane when they lost money.some people can’t survive when they are left by their loved ones. some people died because of it, left all their responsible behind.

for me, people like that are just selfish. their attitude does certainly affect other people’s business. unless you live in a cave or isolated, your presence does matter in a certain degree. please, don’t die today.

and yes, life taught me a lesson: if you got so much love, share it to others. don’t keep it to one person/thing. once you lose a thing you love, even if it can’t be replaced, you won’t lose all your faith.

perhaps that’s the least thing I can do to myself.

The Mixing of Reality and Imagination in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Inspector Hound”

Within theatre performance, there are at least three major roles which are contributed in the process of production, namely dramatists, performers, and spectators. These roles have their own spaces in which the conventions of what should and should not be done are determined. A dramatist, for example, has to write the play while the performer has to perform the drama. The spectator, on the other hand, has to receive and reconstruct the mise-en-scene or the ‘confrontation of text and performance’[1]. However, written between 1961 and 1962, Tom Stoppard’s play The Real Inspector Hound presents the blurred boundaries between the spectators and performers of the drama. The play also serves the unclear division of spaces, whether it is part of the stage, which is called the world of imagination, or outside the stage, which is called the world of reality. Exploring the theme ‘a play within a play’, this theatre of drama presents how the critics cross the space in which they belong to as the critics. The critics cross the reality into the imaginary world which is represented through the stage. This writing will discuss how the spatial codes do not function to separate imagination and reality in ‘a play within a play’ work of Stoppard.

The Real Inspector Hound is a play about the two critics, Birdboot and Moon, observe the so-called ‘whuddunit’ drama. Birdboot is the critic who is really obsessed with his reputation as a ‘family man’. He refuses to admit that he, as a married man, has another relationship a woman, such as Felicity, one of the characters in the play. On the other hand, Moon is a critic who also takes a role as a stand-in of the character in the play. Uniquely, the problems are not only built through the dialogue between the characters, but also between the critics themselves. Birdboot becomes angry when Moon is questioning his loyalty towards his wife, Myrtle. It seems that he doesn’t want to have a bad reputation, for he mentions in the passage when he admits to Felicity that he doesn’t love her, “—and the fact is, I have my reputation—people do talk”, and when Cynthia, through Mrs. Drudge, response him a quite tizzy, he said “I think I have some small names for the making of reputations”. Birdboot also falls in love with Cynthia. However, these aspects encourage them enter and take part in the play.

The readers are presented to two kinds of complex problems in this play. Since it is ‘a play within a play’, it serves the reader the plot of a play within and the plot of the whole play. The play in the play challenges us to find a madman who is around the town. The setting of the play is Lady Muldoon’s drawing-room country residence, Lady Muldoon or Cynthia is a woman whose husband, Albert, has never come back for years because of lost. One day, the drawing-room is visited by the new neighbor, Simon, who is Felicity’s ex-lover and Cynthia’s lover.

The drama within a play itself has serves us the complex plot of story. Thus, the critics have their own personal problems which at first are separated from the drama’s plot. Moon’s raises the issue by asking Birdboot who was the lady whom he saw last night with him. This question makes Birdboot be angry and answer:

“How dare you! [more quietly] How dare you. Don’t you come here with your slimy insinuations! My wife Myrtle understands perfectly well that a man of my critical standing is obliged occasionally to mingle with the world of footlights, simply be way of keeping us au fait with the lastest—“[2]

On the other hand, Moon’s desire to have a chance to play in the stage also makes the play more complicated. He dreams of Higgs’s death so that he could play his role in the stage. Moon thinks that ‘[Higgs] is standing in [Moon’s] light,…an almost continuous eclipse, interrupted by the phenomenon of light”[3]. Furthermore, the two critics are often being in ‘separate tracks’ that they think they own personal problem. Not the play.

The obscurity between reality and imagination starts when Myrtle calls for Birdboot through the telephone in an empty stage. The stage is supposed to be the place where the imaginative story plays. In fact, the call from Myrtle, who is a part of Birdboot’ personal life, distracts the division between imagination and reality. Thus, the play automatically rewinds from the beginning when Felicity meets Simon, the character which is now played by Birdboot. This scene actually fits the reality, as according to Moon Felicity is ‘the lady [he] saw [Birdboot] with last night’. However, as they are on the stage they still cannot mix the reality with the play itself. Thus, Birdboot’s remark “And about last night—perhaps I gave you the wrong impression—got carried away a bit, perhaps—“ doesn’t directly understood by Felicity as she stiffly replies “What are you trying to say?”. Eventually, Birdboot or Simon dies shot by unknown.

Moreover, Moon involves the play when Birdboot finds the corpse of Higgs on the stage. Moon needs to prove that he’s not the one who takes the responsibility, so that he enters the play and pretends to be Inspector Hound.

Unfortunately, Moon plays in the wrong scene. In the last scene, the mystery of the play is revealed. Magnus, who is actually the lost Albert, reveals that he is actually the real Inspector Hound. This confession puts Moon into the wrong position, as he just continues what has been started in the play. Magnus blames Moon for the three murders, including Higgs’ death. At this point, Moon calls for Puckeridge to be his stand in. But Puckeridge never shows up, and no one replaces Moon’s role. However, Moon dies because of Magnus/Albert/Inspector Hound’s shoot.

Since the beginning, Magnus’s identity is indeed not very clear. Mrs. Drudge describes him as “the crippled half-brother of Lord Muldoon who turned up out of the blue from Canada just another day, completes the house-party.” In addition, in one passage it is shown that he is the one who owns the gun as he says “I think I’ll go and oil my gun” to Cynthia and Simon. This, of course, shows the significance of Magnus’s character.

In conclusion, Puckeridge who is actually stand in from stand in, which seems not really significant in this play, is actually the one who last longer than others. Puckeridge is immortal since he doesn’t show up. However, the mixing of reality and imagination in this play is obviously shown through the mixing and changing roles of the characters. The huge mirror on the stage which reflects the audience seems to be a symbol of the blurred division in the play. The drama is very complex with two kinds of plot which is eventually combined into one.


[1] Aston, E. & Savona, G. . 1991. Theatre as Sign-System, Falcon Typographic Art Ltd., Edinburgh & London

[2] Stoppard, Tom. “The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Seven Edition (Vol. 2).” The Real Inspector Hound. M.H. Abrams (Ed.). 2000. W.W. Norton&Company. New York.

[3] Stoppard, Tom. “The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Seven Edition (Vol. 2).” The Real Inspector Hound. M.H. Abrams (Ed.). 2000. W.W. Norton&Company. New York.

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diantara deru itu, aku sayang kamu ibu

tentang permintaan yang terus mengalir. tentang janji yang tak ditepati. tentang manis yang hanya di bibir. tentang paksaan kehendak. tentang parfum dan pakaian dalam. tentang selera yang jauh berbeda. tentang keras kepala. tentang tak mau mengalah. tentang bijak. tentang kasih yang tak lagi sederhana. tentang keluhan. tentang baju-baju pesta. tentang menjaga diri. tentang kerja keras dan menghargai.

sekali-kali waktu dalam hidup kita pernah salah menilai

terlalu terpaku dengan batas antara hitam dan putih, benar dan salah, baik dan tidak baik

padahal hidup ini penuh warna, katamu

di setiap hitam selalu ada putih, merah, jingga, bahkan abu-abu

begitu pun sebaliknya

Tuhan menciptakan begitu banyak warna

lantas mengapa harus terpaku anatara dua itu saja?

seperti ketika laki-laki itu duduk di sampingku

menghisap sebatang rokok Lucky Strike rasa mint dengan nikmat sambil sesekali terbahak karena ceritaku

aku membenci dia dan asap rokoknya tetapi aku suka hangat karib yang dia berikan ketika aku bercerita

dia kemerah-merahan, dengan sedikit kuning dan putih di ujungnya

hampir selalu memberi ketenangan ketika aku menatapnya

setidaknya itu yang aku rasakan sebelum kita sama-sama tenggelam dalam kesibukan masing-masing dan seolah lupa segala

kau dan duniamu, aku dengan duniaku

kita mengikuti garis membawa langkah kita, hingga akhirnya, pada suatu titik kita kembali bertatap muka

lalu setiap sapa yang terucap serasa salah alamat, karena mungkin kita tak mengenal lagi siapa penuturnya. kau asing bagiku seperti aku menjadi asing bagimu

dan tidakkah aku salah menilaimu?

ada banyak biru tertinggal disana.

just because you keep your own principle for not doing what they’re doing, they regard you as a strange.

#quoteoftheday

u don’t have to study in psychology to be a good psychologist, though it may help u a bit (Sally Andika Putri:2010)

Emosi.

saya yakin, ga semua emosi itu harus diungkapkan. terkadang ada saat-saatnya emosi akan lebih baik ketika disimpan. saat ini saya sedang merasakan kekacauan emosi, Galau kalo dalam bahasa indonesia. saya ga tau emosi seperti apa yang sekarang tengah saya rasakan, semuanya abstrak dan campur aduk jadi satu. yang saya tahu, saya ngerasa ga enak. ga enak makan, ga enak kerja, ga enak buka facebook, nafas aja berat rasanya. saya mau sibuk, saya mau capek, hingga nanti ketika saya pulang ke rumah saya ga sempet mikir apa-apa lagi kecuali tidur. di atas itu semua, saya gamau ngomongin masalah saya. saya gamau ngungkapin emosi saya secara eksplisit kepada seorang pun atau malah beberapa orang. terkadang, saya ngerasa jauh lebih baik ketika saya berbagi kepada orang lain tentang masalah saya. tapi terkadang justru saya semakin ngerasa freak ketika saya berbagi kepada orang lain. i’m totally a loser. terkadang saya takut buat jujur sama diri saya sendiri, saya takut dengan frekuensi pembicaraan tentang emosi saya sendiri, saya takut terpuruk. kalau aja suatu saat saya menemukan seseorang yang seperti saya, mungkin saya baru bisa terbuka seterbukanya manusia dengan masalahnya. sayangnya Tuhan ga memberikan saya duplikat, Tuhan menciptakan hanya satu saya yang seperti saya. kemarin baru aja saya tersadar, mungkin selama ini, saya jauh lebih banyak mendengarkan ketimbang berbicara. saya tau ini ga baik, terdengar angkuh. tapi sejujurnya saya merasa sangat bersyukur, ketika saya berhasil menjadi pendengar yang baik untuk teman-teman saya, ketika saya bisa membuat mereka kembali ceria. saya merindukan sahabat. sahabat yang sejatinya memang mengerti saya sebagaimana adanya saya. saya memiliki begitu banyak teman yang sangat baik dan dekat, tapi bagi saya, sampai kapan pun saya hanya memiliki satu orang sahabat sejati: diri saya sendiri. seseorang dalam diri saya yang jauh lebih dewasa dan bijaksana, tapi malu-malu menunjukkan diri. seseorang lagi lebih kekanakan dan selalu ceria, tempramental dan sedikit keras kepala. saya yang pertama lebih banyak diam, namun sangat menyukai tantangan. memiliki nalar panjang dan suka berpikir tentang hal-hal disekitarnya. saya yang satunya lagi sedikit pemalas, gampang jatuh hati pada sesuatu. lebih banyak merengek dan senang mendapat pujian.

saya suka mengamati. saat ini saya tau saya lagi jatuh hati dengan seseorang, merasa kagum tepatnya. ketika saya begitu merindukan berbicara apa adanya, seseorang dengan cantiknya muncul dalam kehidupan saya. satu dan lain hal sedang menginterupsi keseharian saya. mebuat dua kutub dalam diri saya beradu, sama-sama mempertahankan egonya tanpa satu pun yang mau mengalah. antara cinta, benci, dan cemburu. saya melakukan sesuatu yang mungkin sia-sia. merindukan utopia. saya yang sebenarnya ingin mencintai dimana saya yang satunya lagi melarang saya untuk melakukan itu, sesuatu yang bijak sebenarnya namun sulit. dan masihkah ada idealisme tersisa? karena hati bertolak belakang dengan logika, seperti yang pernah seseorang katakan. kita ditakdirkan hidup dalam misteri.

sampai kapanpun misteri tetaplah misteri.