The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry

1)Read “The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry” and write a DB. A discussion board post. 

2)Craft reading: Read Bird, “Plot”, and be ready to discuss.

3) Answer these discussion post 

  • Respond to the posts of 2+ colleagues in 3+ sentences each. Use the “praise/question/polish” format in your responses. Remember to focus on ideas rather than on grammar. See “discussion board directions” for more on constructive feedback.
  • Make your post and replies no later than the start of class on the due date; late work will receive feedback but not points. Contact Prof. Ritt via email ASAP in case of questions or technical difficulties.

Discussion 1: This play was very relatable! It came at a very good time in my life for me to read it. At first I was sort of confused as to how Donna was meeting with her friends and Patrick at the same time, but then I realized that those were flashbacks in between the conversation, which is hard to understand with plays because they take place live, but I envisoned the entire scene and after a few more lines of dialogue from Patrick, everything made sense. Because I can relate so much to Donna, I feel like she wasn’t wrong for telling Patrick she wasn’t interested in hearing a battle from the Civil War. At first I didn’t understand why the title was “The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry”, but now I know it is a symbol for what was discussed in the play. It’s not the battle itself that always makes Donna cry, it’s the fact that men don’t treat women as a priority and only cares about them. To answer Donna’s question about men honoring mystery and women not. Because women are more mentally superior, we hate waiting to know if the feeling is mutual, simply because we shouldn’t have to. However, in some cases, it is best to just go with the flow, and let things fall into place.

Discussion 2: First off, what strikes me the most about this play is that it seems as though the scenes indistinguishably pass from the present drama – Donna’s recounting of her date with Patrick – to the actual performed memories of their date. The blurring of memories and one’s immediate reality is something often seen in fiction, but I’ve never encountered it in a play before. The fact that it would need to be performed – that two events occurring at different periods of time (the past, and the present) would occur on the same stage – seems like it might be difficult to pull off, although the ingenuity of the concept (if it is indeed ingenious – I’m not versed enough in theater to know) would make the difficulty worth it.

I initially thought Donna was recounting her date for her friends at a sort of get-together where Patrick was in the other room from which they would occasionally lock eyes, but it seems more like their locking of eyes occurred in some mode of time that was outside of the past and outside of the present. They seemed to inhabit their own temporal, I don’t know…dimension in those moments. There was a very distinct manipulation of present and past occurring in the play. We naturally assume that a scene being acted out is occurring in the immediate present, unless it becomes implied that it’s occurring in the past. However, it seems as though certain moments in this play occur simultaneously – past and present being acted out within the same moments.

I hope this interpretation actually has substance and that I didn’t veer way out into the abstract, here. 

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