How the Nurse Feels

In: English and Literature

Submitted By tyra0002
Words 880
Pages 4
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How the Nurse Feels

“As the nurse, I have eighty-eight lines, appear in eleven of twenty-four scenes, and, unfortunately, I have no costume changes. From what I know, most of Shakespeare’s women don’t”(page 2, line 12) is a quote from the teenager Tess, the main character in Greg Changnon’s short story How the Nurse Feels from 1998. Everyone can relate to the grief of Romeo and Juliet, but the nurse does not play a significant part in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which makes it hard for Tess to imagine how the nurse feels and therefore how to play her role. In this short story, however, Changnon uses symbolism to throw light on feelings from characters we might miss out on when we normally read or watch the world famous tragedy.

How the nurse feels is about the high-school student, Tess, who is playing the role of the nurse in the school production of Romeo and Juliet. In the very middle of her struggle finding out how to act her part, there is another drama taking place outside. Bad weather conditions have postponed the play and cancelled school, and suddenly Tiger De Soto, a minor performer in the play, has disappeared.

Tess seems like a typical high school student, living a life with the relatable struggles of a teenager; parents with expectations, boring environment and confusing romantic feelings. She seems attracted to the boy Tiger, whom she barely knows and when she finds out that he has disappeared, she jumps to the conclusion that “He got the hell out of here”(page 3, line 85), meaning that he ran away to live the desirable big city life. Tess herself dreams of going to New York, and is tired of giving “feedback on my father’s sermons”(page 4, line 103) and living in a pink satin bedroom designed by her mother, who also expects her to overtake the fabric shop after college.

In her struggle…...

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