One of the things about the Oklahoma story is how people dream so much about having the things that they can’t have. It’s something that permeates the plot line and get even a little uncomfortable at times when we learn that Will has been promised Ado Annie’s hand for fifty dollars.
It’s everywhere we look – Laurey wants nice clothes, buckles, a buggy. I wonder if she wants to escape the far where she is stranded and lonesome at night. Jud wants her so bad, but is it like a piece of livestock, or is he really capable of love? Ado Annie is so taken with Peddler with his fancy wares and his exotic words. I think the hotel at Claremore might actually fell like paradise compared to the haystack outside her pa’s barn.
Nobody seems averse to giving all they have away, either. We have Will, giving up all his winnings on presents for his girl, with no thought to the notion that he actually needs to buys this girls’s hand from her father. Isn’t she worth more than a possession? I also wonder how she sees the peddler when he comes back in act 2 with his own bride.
Jud certainly has no qualms over handing over his cash either, not quite as much as Will, but still a veritable fortune. Probably close to two months pay, for those of you keeping track.
And Curly, what will he give up? His livelihood? He already spent everything he had on his plan for the party, and that didn’t go so well. Now what? What does he think when he hears Ike talk about the territory becoming a state, becoming something more than what it is? Where does he place himself in that future?
Until we are ready to give up everything we thought we needed, everything that used to define us, that ties us and binds us to our possessions, we don’t know what that would be like. Only when we’ve gone to that place where we’ve got nothing left but who we are can we know what Curly knows.