Grusha is the protagonist/heroine in the play. She takes care of Michael after his mother leaves him behind. She can also be described as:
- Loving / caring / concerned
She is concerned about Simon escorting Natella to the capital, “Isn’t it dangerous to go with her?….you’re not a knife. You’re a man”. (p.23).
She also shows concern for the Governor when she asks, “What have they done with the Governor?” (p.26).
Her love is evident when she sacrifices her money, safety and comfort for the sake of Michael. She also refuses to pull Michael out of the chalk circle for fear of tearing him up, “I brought him up. Shall I also tear him to bits? I can’t.” (p.98)
She shows courage by crossing the rotten bridge and hitting the Corporal on the head with a piece of wood. When the iron shirts come for Michael, she is not afraid of following them up to the capital where he had been taken.
A determined person is one who will do everything and anything to achieve his/her goal. Grusha is so determined to keep Michael safe that she even allows herself to get married to Jussup for the sake of the child. Her determination also helps her face Natella in court and eventually win the case.
Grusha is honest when she tells her brother the truth about the child not having a father. She also does not lie to Simon about her marriage to Jussup.
Grusha gives Michael all the treatment that a mother could give a child. Even though Michael is not hers, she feeds, clothes and protects him as though he were her child. Her motherly instincts also come into play when she is unable to pull him out of the chalk circle. Natella, the biological mother, on the other hand, does not show any motherly love for her child.
A possessive person is one who will not give away his/her property easily. Grusha is possessive of Michael and refuses to give him up even to his real mother. She says, “He is mine. I brought him up.” (p.87)
She shows appreciation to Simon for offering to swear before the court that he is Michael’s father. She says, “Thank you Simon.” (p.87)
She flies off the handle when in the courtroom when she tells the judge, “I can understand your wanting to cut it short. Now I’ve seen what you accepted!” (p94)
Even though she’s dressed up and ready to go the Easter Sunday service, she, obediently goes to get the goose for dinner because she is ordered to do so.
Grusha plays the role of the protagonist/heroine in the text. She plays the following roles:
- Plot development – she takes Michael and runs away with him which forces the iron shirts to go after her. She marries Jussup and the final case in court is between her and Natella.
- Character development – through her, we understand other characters like Lavrenti, Aniko, Mother-in-Law and Jussup
- Theme development – through Grusha, themes such as Love, justice, conflict, violence, hypocrisy and selflessness are developed.
- Style development – through her, styles like irony, satire, juxtaposition and songs are developed.
- Identify and illustrate the character traits of Simon Shashava.
- Identify the role played by Simon Shashava
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