[Some of his characters were underdeveloped, to the extent that their speeches could be (and sometimes were, in Wilson's habitual frequent rewrites) interchanged. His dramatic structures and even his use of the musical powers of African American idioms were fairly old-fashioned compared with the exciting adventurousness of Suzan-Lori Parks. But even his traditionalism could be seen as a source of strength.] He was writing in the grand tradition of Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, ... the politically engaged, direct, social-realist drama. He was reclaiming ground for the theater that most people thought had been abandoned.
Harper: In your experience of the world. How do people change?Mormon Mother: Well it has something to do with God so it's not very nice.God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy hand in, he grabs hold of your bloody tubes and they slip to evade his grasp but he squeezes hard, he insists, he pulls and pulls till all your innards are yanked out and the pain! We can't even talk about that. And then he stuffs them back, dirty, tangled and torn. It's up to you to do the stitching. Harper: And then up you get. And walk around.Mormon Mother: Just mangled guts pretending.Harper: That's how people change.
I had a book of Bible stories when I was a kid. There was a picture I'd look at twenty times every day: Jacob wrestles with the angel. I don't really remember the story, or why the wrestling --just the picture. Jacob is young and very strong. The angel is...a beautiful man, with golden hair and wings, of course. I still dream about it. Many nights. I'm...It's me. In that struggle. Fierce, and unfair. The angel is not human, and it holds nothing back, so how could anyone human win, what kind of a fight is that? It's not just. Losing means your soul thrown down in the dust, your heart torn out from God's. But you can't not lose.