The 7 Stages of Grieving

The 7 Stages of Grieving


Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman

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The 7 Stages of Grieving: Scene 22: Plea Summary & Analysis

The Woman approaches the audience, carrying her suitcase with her. She tells them that there has always been a grieving amongst her people—for their land, their families, and the cultures they have been denied. In spite of their grief, she says, they have been taught to cry quietly. She is frightened, she says, that her heart is hardening after so many years of grieving in this way. All she can do now is perform and tell stories: her own stories and the stories of her people. The Woman puts the suitcase down in front of the audience.
In this scene, the Woman is honest with the audience about her emotions. She knows that she is slowly becoming desensitized to her own pain, not to mention the suffering of her family and her people more widely. Performing and storytelling is all she has left—but, as she has shown throughout the course of the play, even that is too much to bear sometimes. By setting her suitcase at the audience’s feet, the Woman declares her intention to allow the numbness to take over. The Woman acknowledges that, while her people have been grieving for a long time, their grief has not been encouraged—or even permitted—to follow the neat, orderly stages of grief that others experience. Her people are not afforded such a luxury—they have no guidance through their intense, existential grief, and must move through it, messily and unevenly, on their own.
Colonialism and Oppression Theme Icon
Memory and Family Trauma Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Numbness  Theme Icon
Aboriginal Identity, Pride, and Resilience Theme Icon
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