Part 1. Exposition
The play is set on a spring day in 1950’s America. The scene moves between three scenes: library of Dowd’s, office of Chumley’s rest, and the sanitarium for mental patients. The play hints us that before it started, Elwood P. Dowd, who was once very popular for his good nature and manners along with his calm personality, befriends a Pooka named Harvey, a 6 feet tall rabbit. Elwood soon get well along with him, but everyone else thinks he is crazy because no one except Elwood can see this Celtic mythological creature. This gives Veta Louise, Elwood’s sister, a lot of stress. There are no society issues or deep social criticism in the play. Its mood is very light and ...view middle of the document...
Rising action: Veta cannot resist anymore of Elwood’s ‘illness’ so she goes to the sanitarium. In there, she talks to the doctors about the problem that Elwood has, and asks them to take him in. Kelly and Wilson from the sanitarium takes Elwood in, and reports to Dr. Sanderson. However, Sanderson tells Kelly that it is actually Veta who is sick, and she is just trying to use Elwood as a scapegoat. So they take Veta in and Elwood out, apologizing to Elwood. Later, it becomes true that Elwood was the one who sees the rabbit.
After Veta gets freed, she gets furious and goes to Judge Gaffeney, her family lawyer, and tries to sue them. She claims that the sanitarium did unspeakable tests to her to find out her mental status. During that time, the doctors find Elwood, who is finding for Harvey, and bring him in. They all meet at act 3 to decide whether they should give him the psychopath medicine.
Conflict: Even though the story is mostly about Elwood, he is a very kind and well mannered man, thus not having any conflict with the other characters. So both the internal and external conflict is lead by Veta. The external conflict in when Veta and the doctors argue. They argue several times in the play, and almost never agree on each other. The doctors also misunderstood Veta and took her in to the sanitarium, giving her shame. The internal conflict that Veta has comes out in the last scene. She has to choose whether or not Elwood will take the medicine the doctors got to ‘cure’ him.
Climax: The climax of the play is when Elwood, his family and the doctors all got together for Elwood’s shot. The doctors were getting ready to do it, and that was what Veta wanted. However, in the last moment, Veta ran into the room and stopped the doctors. She said that she wants Elwood to be happy and if Elwood wants to be with Harvey, she would be with him too.
Falling Action: The doctors did not understand Veta’s request , but they were not able to stop her because she was very clear, and she is the patient’s closest family. After everyone leaves, Elwood is on the stage himself. Then, a door opens and Harvey enters, and the play end with Elwood saying “Where have you been? I’ve been looking all over for you-“
Elwood: He stays the well mannered weirdo he is. However, there will be no more stress from the family because Veta finally approved of him and Harvey.
Harvey: He will always be invisible to ones who do not believe in him, so only Elwood and occasionally Veta will be able to see him. A pooka will stay as a pooka himself, helping others and having a curious mind.
Veta: While the other two main characters will not have a dramatic change in life, Veta will. She will no longer be stressed by the whole town thinking of Elwood as a psychopath, and finally knew that in order for her to be happy, people she loves should be happy too.
Part 3. Characters:
Elwood P. Dowd: The protagonists of the story, he was once a...