Campion Decent

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Campion Decent’s play “Embers” examines the connection between individuals and the community as they react to significant events

In the play “Embers” Campion Decent gives the audience the opportunity to simultaneously react to the plays events intellectually, and to experience the characters emotional connection between themselves and the community. “Embers“ demonstrates how a community can support each other in the aftermath of a natural disaster. This is clearly shown through verbatim stories of different characters such as Keith, the RC ladies and at the end different characters coming together as one and retelling their stories. To a large extent the representation of community is shown through a range of techniques used throughout the play. In addition it’s supported by quotes directly from audio recordings of Campion Decent himself.

In the play the importance of community involvement is demonstrated when Keith breaks down under the pressure of fighting fires. Keith reacts by being stubborn about the situation when a young CFA worker lost his cool during the fires. The use of idiom “lost it” and the imperative form repetition of “hose the prick down” (page 77-78) is used as Keith gives a sense of authority and urgency in a brutal and direct order giving the kid no concessions because he is young. Keith is adamant that he will not go home as he repeats “I won’t leave because it my area, it’s my fire and I won’t leave” and the repetition of personal pronouns reinforces that he is in charge when he says “That’s my area. They vote me in as captain. My responsibility to stay…” This shows that he is captain and under the pressure of controlling the fires in his area. The strong connection between the community and individuals is reinforced when Keith shows that he doesn’t want to let him community down, yet it is his community members can see that he has ‘lost it’ and needs a rest. The irony is that he cannot see that the members of the community are trying...
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