Conflict in the “Wanda’s Visit” Play by Durang Essay

August 17, 2021 by Essay Writer


In the play, Wanda’s Visit, conflict arises between Jim and his wife, Marsha when Jim’s ex-girlfriend comes to their home for a visit. The ex-girlfriend, Wanda has an abrasive and intrusive personality. Her total lack of restraint in her speech and action rubs Marsha the wrong way and she is annoyed that Jim does not handle the situation better.

Main Conflict in Wanda’s Visit

Jim and his wife are leading a normal and almost boring life since their marriage has lost its charm. Major conflicts and arguments between the couple arise when Jim’s ex- girlfriend, Wanda arrives at their house for a visit. What is it specifically that causes the arguments between the couple? First of all Wanda is all over Jim even in the presence of Marsha. She hugs him unnecessarily and even offers to feed him when they go out for dinner as a threesome.

Wanda knows exactly the effects of her actions on Marsha and Marsha suspects that she intends to break up the relationship. First of all, since Wanda is an ex-girlfriend, Marsha is very wary and watchful of how Jim interacts with her. Marsha is gravely disappointed by the way Jim handles the situation.

He does not tell Wanda to respect their marriage rather he seems to even enjoy all the attention he is receiving. At the end of the day, Marsha comes in to find her husband massaging Wanda on the couch. This makes Marsha even more annoyed and she seems to give up on Jim taking the initiative to tell Wanda off. The act of Wanda feeding her husband in public annoys her further. Wanda has determined to totally ignore Marsha’s role as Jim’s wife and carry on as if Jim is a single man.

The way Wanda flirts with Jim is not the only thing that causes conflict within the marriage. Wanda talks all the time, telling them of her promiscuous relationships and suspicious, possibly criminal activities. She confesses that she went through cosmetic surgery to avoid being recognized by an influential man in the criminal world. At night, when she is not able to get any sleep she comes to their bedroom and starts talking to them the whole night! Marsha all this time has been polite to Wanda but she is nearly losing her mind. That night Marsha and her husband did not sleep at all. By this time, every time Marsha and Jim are alone, they are arguing all the time.

Marsha feels as if her life all of a sudden is in control of a mad woman. She starts hoping for the day that Wanda’s visit will be over since it is clear Jim is not willing or able to control her. By the end of the play, Marsha has stopped pretending in front of her husband and Wanda that she is fine. She is extremely cold towards Wanda.

The resolution of the Conflict

The conflict between the couple is resolved when Wanda is kidnapped by the influential criminal she has been fleeing from. Regrettably, she is found several days later, dead. The couple, with the absence of Wanda is able to fully reflect on the events of the last several days. They are forced to think on the importance of their marriage. There are positive outcomes that emerge from Wanda’s visit. The marriage gets back its romance and the couple works towards sustaining their marriage.

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