在絕境中塑造我們的道德觀(1)——讀戲劇《都是我的兒子》

戲劇的魅力在於通過逐漸發展的劇情,跌宕起伏的情節,將矛盾衝突集中呈現,最後再推向高潮,給觀眾強烈的藝術感染力,帶給人們震撼之後的深深思索。

《都是我的兒子》在戲劇史上具有崇高的地位,是被稱為「美國戲劇良心」的阿瑟•米勒的經典之作,首次推出就連演328場,榮獲紐約戲劇評論家獎、托尼獎最佳編劇獎等多個獎項。這部劇本對于思考社會的價值觀和道德觀,具有重要的意義。

剛剛結束的常春藤英語班春季課程,我們帶著學生讀了十幾本經典名著,有中長篇小說,短篇小說,還有詩歌、劇本等。包括威廉•莎士比亞的著名戲劇作品《羅密歐與朱麗葉》;諾貝爾文學獎獲得者、美國作家賽珍珠上世紀二三十年代,以中國為背景的小說《大地》(The Good Earth);美國作家菲茨傑拉德(F. Scott Fitzgerald)的《了不起的蓋茨比》(The Great Gatsby);最偉大的西班牙語系作家,1982年諾貝爾文學獎得主,加夫列爾•加西亞•馬爾克斯(Gabriel García Márquez)的《百年孤獨》;奧地利作家茨威格短篇小說《一個陌生女子的來信》;馬克•吐溫(Mark Twain)的短篇小說《競選州長》(Running for Governor)和莫泊桑(Guy De Maupassant)的短篇小說《項鏈》(Necklace);還有當代智利詩人,1971年諾貝爾文學獎獲得者巴勃羅•聶魯達(Pablo Neruda)的詩歌等等。今天要和大家討論的, 就是其中一本非常有名的劇本《都是我的兒子》(All My Sons)。

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圖:「美國戲劇良心」廣告畫

美國最偉大的劇作家
說起美國戲劇的時候,首先想到的是美國最偉大的幾位劇作家:尤金-奧尼爾(Eugene O』Neill,1888~1952),我們讀過他的《榆樹下的慾望》(Desire Under the Elms)。還有田納西•威廉斯(Tennessee Williams)。再就是我們今天要介紹的《都是我的兒子》的作者阿瑟•米勒(Arthur Miller)。

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圖:被稱為「美國戲劇良心」的劇作家阿瑟•米勒。

阿瑟•米勒1915年出生在紐約的一個猶太裔移民家庭。他之前並沒想過要成為作家。高中畢業後,阿瑟•米勒閱讀了一本俄國作家陀思妥耶夫斯基的經典小說《卡拉馬佐夫兄弟》(The Brothers Karamazov)。小說錯綜複雜的道德衝突,「最奇特的外部和心理的境界」深深吸引了這位猶太學生。正是這部小說使他立志將來從事文學創作,於是在1934年,阿瑟•米勒進入密歇根大學學習寫作。

但是,十幾年的寫作,一直沒有成功。經常是為寫一個劇本,花上很多年,多次修改。終於,《都是我的兒子》1947年登上舞台,讓阿瑟•米勒一夜成名,竟然在百老匯劇院,連續演出300多場。藉著這個成功,阿瑟•米勒寫下了另外兩部最具代表性的著作,1949年的《推銷員之死》(Death of a Salesman)和1953年的《煉獄》(The Crucible)。這三部作品對美國戲劇界,乃至整個社會產生了歷史性的重大作用,確定了阿瑟•米勒在美國劇壇崇高地位。

阿瑟•米勒的個人生活非常豐富,他的第二任妻子是美國最著名的女性象徵,瑪麗蓮•夢露(Marilyn Monroe)。這兩個人,一個外向奔放和追求時尚,熱衷耀眼光環下的生活。一個算是徹頭徹尾的文學劇作家,習慣孤獨和艱苦的創作環境,對生活的哲理體察入微。雖然二人在一起時間不夠長久,只有短短4年的婚姻。但是阿瑟•米勒作為「夢露的丈夫」的身份,似乎蓋過了他是一位影響深遠,美國最偉大的劇作家的身份。2005年,阿瑟•米勒病逝於康涅狄克州家中,享年89歲。

起伏跌宕的劇情
劇本在講述故事時,會有著特定的考慮和結構順序。在這裡,為了方便讀者閱讀,我按照時間次序來介紹。

故事發生在芝加哥郊外,伊利諾伊的一個小城,有兩位企業家都有自己的家庭和孩子,一位是喬•科勒(Joe Keller),太太叫凱特(Kate),大兒子克裡斯(Chris),二兒子叫賴瑞(Larry)。另外一個企業家叫史蒂夫•迪佛(Steve Deever),兒子叫喬治,女兒叫安妮(Ann)。科勒和迪佛經營著一家軍工廠,為美國國防部製造飛機。當時正直珍珠港事件後,美國也加入了第二次世界大戰。科勒的兩個兒子和迪佛的一個兒子都應徵入伍,成為美國空軍飛行員。兩個家庭,兒子在前方打戰,父親在工廠積極組裝飛機,為戰爭提供武器。他們之間的家庭關係也非常緊密,4個孩子親密無間的長大。迪佛的孩子幼年喪母,凱特就承擔了他們的母親的職責。同時,賴瑞和安妮從小青梅竹馬,長大後成了一對戀人,約定戰後結婚。

有一次,他們的軍工廠收到一批委託另外廠家加工的飛機氣缸頭,運來後發現零件有缺陷。此時,兩個合夥人面臨一個艱難選擇:一方面國防部在催單,如果不能及時交貨,就會違約,公司將面臨破產風險。另一方面飛機氣缸頭有缺陷,返工肯定來不及。有一天,迪佛在工廠,監督飛機組裝,科勒還沒來上班,國防部又來追問交貨。科勒託病在家,迪佛打電話給科勒,問應該怎麼處理。科勒想著,如果工廠關門,怎麼對家人和工人負責。於是決定:把貨運出去,估計不會出事。在這種情況下,本來有些膽小的迪佛,聽了科勒的意見,下定決心把貨發出去了。沒想到幾個星期後,他們製造的飛機,有20多架墜毀,21個飛行員的性命隨之葬送。

國防部派人調查,把迪佛和科勒都抓起來審訊,兩個合夥人都因為間接殺人,被判罪入獄。科勒上訴,陳述不在場的證據,不承認接了迪佛電話,說是迪佛一個人的主張。後來,科勒被無罪釋放,回去後重建工廠,經營得有聲有色,生意越來越紅火。迪佛被一直關在俄亥俄州的監獄中。

身為飛行員的賴瑞,看著戰友一個個駕著飛機出發後,就再也沒有回來,心情異常沉痛。當從報紙得知自己父親和迪佛被判罪,賴瑞才明白飛機墜毀是爸爸工廠的責任,是自己最親的人製造了次品飛機,間接殺害了戰友,心中非常痛苦和羞愧。有一天賴瑞架機出征回來,在營地上空盤旋20多分鐘才降落。後來,賴瑞寫了一封遺書寄給安妮,說得知他們的父親害死了戰友,感到無顏面對這個事實,無法再回到營房。他準備有一天架機出征,不再回來。部隊會報告他在戰爭中失蹤,請安妮不用等他。他決定墜機身亡,為父親犯下的過錯贖罪;並告訴安妮,她是唯一收到這封信和知道真相的人。

兩年之後,戰爭結束。因為父親入獄,喬治和安妮搬到紐約居住。喬治繼續完成學業,做了律師。他們都因為父親的罪過,沒臉見人,也不願去監獄探望父親。科勒和太太凱特一直在等待賴瑞歸來。每次看報紙,看到失蹤戰士的消息,都充滿無限希望,相信兒子哪一天會突然回來的。

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圖:《都是我的兒子》劇照

(待續)

歡迎大家交流,聯繫常春藤指導(The Ivy Advisor)江宇應教授:Dr.ivyadvisor@gmail.com。

您也可以通過網站與我們聯繫:www.theivyadvisors.com。

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文|江宇應 教授

 

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