The Relation between the Creator and the Created in Six Characters in Search of an Author

Six Characters in Search of an Author dramatizes problematic relationship between the creator and the created. The traditional view of the nature of this relationship is tainted with an ironic bite and with a renewed consciousness. The traditional outlook on the relationship between the creator and the creation is forced to admit its limitations in Six Characters in Search of an Author.

Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936)

Traditionally speaking, it was thought that the creations are under the full control of the creator. It was assumed that the created are like the puppets in the hand of the creator. It is held that the essence of the creation is solely under the authority of the creator. All these stereotypic conceptions regarding to the relation between the creator and the created are examined with an ironic alertness. Six characters were abandoned by their creator. To be abandoned by the creator was the painful destiny for them. At their being abandoned by their author, they did not feel defeated. Of course, they felt disappointed at the authorial betrayal. But they were not discouraged. At being left unrealized by the author, the six characters did not lament. To our utter awe and amazement, they came out in search of an author who could realize them. Here we get a significant insight into the relation between the creator and the created. In the modern world the creations cannot remain empty, the created cannot remain devoid of purpose, even if they failed to draw the attention of the author. In modern times the author can't exert his/her sovereign will in the process of realizing characters. If one creator, one author does not realize the creations, the created, and the characters, it makes no difference. Perhaps some troubles of the creations arise. But these problems can be solved. If one author abandons his/her characters, there will come another author who can realize those characters who fell victims to the cruelty of authorial abandonment.

In the play, six characters rushed to the stage where one of Pirandello's plays Mixing it Up was undergoing rehearsal. They enjoined the manager to recognize them as characters of a play in which each of them were carrying within them. This plea of six characters suggests that characters can themselves strive to earn authorial recognition even if they are abandoned cruelly by their original creator. It is not necessary that characters remain other than being characters if the original creator does not extend loving recognition to them. The past view regarding authorial realization was that it is an author who has to impart a sense of recognition to his/her characters. But the modernist view of Pirandello on the relationship between the creator and the created is somewhat different. According to Pirandello, the created must deserve authorial recognitions. Authorial recognition is a matter of earning through individual strife. That is why Pirandello allowed one of his characters in the play says one must have luck to be born as a character in a play.

Having traced noticeably this aspect of the relationship between the author and the character, between the creator and the created, I moved toward another side of this relationship. In the past characters, the created were pretty submissive and yielding to the creator, to the author. Characters in the past had no will to react against the domination of the creator. They had assumed that whatever the author does for them will appear to stand in favor for them. But in the world of Six Characters in Search of an Author a new trend has taken root in the relationship between the character and the author. When the manager agreed with the characters in the process of staging the characters' drama, the manager forced to put those costumes, props and bits of scenery. At this intentional use of small details, props and costumes, the stepdaughter objected to the manager. She blamed the manager for taking an authorial stance in stating the play of characters.

In Act III the manager commands Father to stop his philosophizing. Looking him over from head to foot, the manager, concludes that the Father's tale of the author who abandoned them is nonsense. Father himself is trying to imitate the manner of an author he heartily detests, an author whose play he was rehearsing just when they arrived. The Father replies that he does not know this author and that only those who blind themselves with human sentiment and do not think what they feel/think he philosophizes. Man never reasons so much as when he suffers. Father is "Crying aloud the reason of his sufferings." The manager asks if anyone has ever heard of a character who speechifies as Father does. The Father replies that he has not because the author always hides the labor of the character's creation where the character is alive, they follow the author in action, words, and situation-when born he acquires an independence of him.

In the modern context characters are in need of authorial recognition, but they no longer remain silent at the authorial intrusions and encroachment. Characters have been giving vent to their voice of protest against the domination of the author. To put otherwise, the characters are desirous of their independence, although they are perfectly conscious of their dependence on the writer, on the creator for the sake of an authorial recognition. In the last analysis, it is correct to declare that modernist character are estranged and alienated because of their pride in their singular subjectivity, because of their orientation towards independence.

Related Topics

Six Characters in Search of an Author: Introduction

Six Characters in Search of an Author: Summary

Modernism in Six Characters in Search of an Author

Scientific and Philosophical Theories of Relativity in Six Characters in Search of an Author

Art and Life in Six Characters in Search of an Author

Relationship between Characters and Actors in Six Characters in Search of an Author

Illusion and Reality in Six Characters in Search of an Author

The Concept of Meta-theatre in Six Characters in Search of an Author

Luigi Pirandello: Biography