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Word Count: 744
Incident at Vichy by Arthur Miller takes place in 1942 France The play consists of dialogue between the characters eight men and a boy while they await an unknown fate in the detention room of a Vichy police station Not only does the play tell of the horrors of the Holocaust through rumors that the men exchange but it also deals with major themes of guilt self-sacrifice and honor Through characters with different beliefs attitudes and ways of life the play draws significant conclusions on the topic of individualism The need to protect oneself is a very strong reoccurring theme and the characters all have different coping mechanisms Many of the characters seem very self-centered save for the boy none of them mention family or friends Marchand thinks of himself as an important businessman having no time for any of the other men and perhaps it is his confidence that convinces the Germans that he is not inferior to them Lebeau who lived isolated in the country is very fearful for his life and that fear is channeled into both aggression and denial as he tries to rationalize his situation by putting down the others for example by comparing his nose to the gentile Prince Von Berg The waiter attempts resistance as he is brought into the back room but is quickly subdued Monceau who believes he can use his talent of acting to put on a show of confidence is in denial of what awaits him and thus protecting himself Bayard seems to live in the future when workers are in control and views himself as a part of history more than as an individual he has separated his spirit from his body Leduc is the most realistic he sees the danger he is in and attempts physical resistance as he is brought into the detention center After he fails he then tries to organize a group to fight the guards but nobody
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