In a Place Faraway…
Despite the seeming simplicity, building relationships with each other is one of the basic problems for most people, which is the cause of numerous misunderstandings. However, unlike conflicting interactions with different people, the situation from which the opponents can find a way out sooner or later, the constant inner conflict can cause unceasing pain and would not let one live peacefully. Wilby Wonderful rips the innermost of its veil, bringing to light the thoughts and ideas people did not even realize they were thinking. Making it clear that the main problem of each human is his/her prejudices, the story explains what running away from oneself and the denial of one’s feelings and ideas lead to, as well as what happens if one lets these feelings go.
Looking into the Eye of the Disaster
The Key Problem
Stuck in their lies, the citizen of Wilby Wonderful live in a mess that is going to become even more complicated because of the scandal they are facing. However, the disastrous ill fame that threatens the citizens helps them deal with the mess in their lives, reconsidering their priorities. It is evident that the main characters are willing to settle and finally live a peaceful and quiet life, yet the controversies within them do not let any of the characters find the solution to their problems. Every person is obsessed with a certain idea; one of the clear-cut examples is Dan Jarvis, the unlucky self-murderer, who does not see any other way out of his troubles than committing suicide (McIvor 21). Generally speaking, the problem with all characters is the lack of faith and the reluctance to believe in anything: “Faith is believing something you know isn’t true,” Buddy (McIvor 81) said.
In addition, the numerous subplots reveal the interconnection between the characters. When looking closer at the relationships between the leading characters, one can see that the people involved will not be able to live their normal life without their friends, opponents or even enemies, like two people engaged in a dialogue – for having a dialogue on ones own is impossible. Intertwined most whimsically, these people cannot live without each other. The handyman takes care of the future self-murderer and tries to prevent him from committing suicide, Buddy, policeman, is figuring out where his relationships with Sandra will lead to and at the same time is pulling himself together to investigate the case of drug-dealing, Carol French persuades the mayor to buy her late mother-in-law’s – people are colliding like molecules to run in the opposite directions and they meet again. What these people need is the lifebuoy to hold on to, the faith in their selves and each other: “Us freaks need to stick together” (McIvor 84). Without each other, these characters would not be able to exist.
Behind the Curtain
Taking a closer look at the lead characters, one can see clearly that every single step they make is another proof that they need a deep introspective into their desires and needs. Whatever the characters do or say, they constantly repeat themselves, which drives the audience to the idea that the people in Wilby Wonderful are not willing to develop or simply change. The reasons behind the passiveness are quite clear – each of the characters remains in the same place and does the routine work because the people are afraid of the odds they have to fight, like Sandra, for instance: “Sandra scrubs the grill like her life depends on it” (McIvor 82). Each person in the story is trying to distract him-/herself from the inevitable denouement, yet each of them realizes the end is near.
The subplots mentioned above merge into a huge canvas of life – life in Wilby Wonderful. It is worth mentioning that even the name of the town speaks for itself most sarcastically – the town where everything is turning upside down can hardly be called Wonderful. Yet there is also an evident clue in the name – once the characters realize that the lives they lead make an entity, their problems will vanish without a trace. However, the characters never do – all that they can do is continue the recurring pattern, starting each day with the usual scenario and ending their daily routine most predictably. The policeman will fail to catch the criminal and will go on figuring out whether his affair is worth his while, the devoted friend will continue persuading the suicide to stop destructing himself, and Duck, the handyman, will follow his wife Carol’s orders and cope with her constant hysterias with just as little success. The stepping stone for the characters is their obsession with the past and making the same mistakes constantly. Because of the combination of passiveness and reluctance to realize their own needs, the main characters never move any further:
She said it was a very important place because when you looked out there you could see where you came from, and if you could see where you came from you could remember what you wanted. (McIvor 26)
Constantly looking back, the characters get confused. Engaging themselves in the same activities, they try to wash away the needs burning inside them. All these people need is to face their fears and realize they can handle these fears – yet none of the characters dares to.
A Bit of Introspective
There is no doubt that the upcoming scandal is the climax that is supposed to change the lives of all the people in the town. Even though the experience will be bitter, each of the characters will have an opportunity to change him-/herself until it is not too late. Despite the peculiar patterns of the subplots, the latter are intertwined in the canvas of the main plot, which symbolizes the integrity of the people in the town. Making it clear that people in a small community depend on each other, yet have to deal with the complexities within themselves before building the relationships, the author emphasizes the importance of self-analysis.
Indeed, it becomes obvious that the obstacles the characters encounter can be handled with. For people to solve their problems, they have to face the truth and realize what they need. The pieces of the plot will fall into their places sooner or later, and each of the characters will have to fight his/her fears alone, which is possible only if one knows what (s)he wants and what (s)he is afraid of. With Wilby Wonderful, looking into one’s soul becomes easier.
McIvor, Daniel. “Wilby Wonderful.” Bridgewater, NS: Palpable Productions, n.d. PDF file.