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Water By The Spoonful Analysis

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Drug addiction is a constant war. It is a battle being fought between oneself, possibly family, friends but always, the drug. Yet for anyone that is struggling, there is hope. Despite our differences, there will always be a path to recovery. In “Water by the Spoonful”, Quiara Alegría Hudes incorporates several strategies and tactics through various character’s agencies and symbolism to ultimately create a piece that centers recuperation. Drugs do not define an individual, they only limit one’s potential.
Unlike any other work, “Water by the Spoonful” uses the online world to establish the central theme of redemption. The online chatroom for addicts and substance abusers, such as Odessa and Fountainhead, is a strategy placed within the play
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The names serve as symbolic strategies that resemble each character. Merriam-Webster defines the term “fountainhead” as a spring that is the source of a stream or the principal source. Ironically, his username seems to fit within the symbol of water. Water throughout the piece is also another strategic symbol of life. From Eliot and his sister’s dependency on water to live, the bathing scene between John and Odessa and the waterfall in Puerto Rico, the central idea remains that water brings vitality. As the prime source of wealth in the play, he is later seen as the source of life for Odessa. Haikumom represents her motherly attributes that she has never shown in real-life. The usernames used define what the character is failing to be in the outer world until they redeem themselves.
As humans, we all cope with our problems in various ways. Even though an audience member may not have a drug addiction, they are still able to feel the pain and suffering of those fighting the difficult war in “Water by the Spoonful”. Quiara Alegría Hudes wrote an exquisite piece that incorporates strategically placed symbols and characters to show that every human struggle and recovery is different. Whatever way we find peace, whether that be in an online chatroom or family, there will always be an open path to
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