Lord of the Moai: a modern man on an ancient island

Percy Edmunds is in many ways the antagonist in Mana. There are significant questions about that role in this the character Drama but whatever his literary role, he is a representation of the modern man in this turn of the century drama.
Percy has three jobs on the island: he is the port captain, the government representative and the corporate liaison on Easter Island. He has been, in the play, on the island alone for five years with a group of indigenous people relocated onto a reservation.
There was a great deal of discussion during rehearsal concerning the idea that Percy has gone native, that the time he has spent on the island has taken him far from his protestant roots. This discussion was interesting but the real revelation is in relationship to ideas from  The Lord of the Flies, the real question is if the island has just revealed the savagery that lies below the western civilized world.
When we first read the play, randy and I talked with ray about the need for more of a presence of the native people in the action. There are not three characters on stage and all are British. It struck us that the native character must be present to really delve into the world of the island. It may be that Percy is that native presence as much as he is the presence of another Brit. He is savage. He lives often among the native. He is not part of their community but he does many actions, like stealing food, that the native seem to be doing as well. He brings the outside world into the world of the play. He brings in the legends and acts are a representative of the native. He calls them his people but never let’s himself become like them.

Percy is the savagery of the island. He is dangerous, mysterious and it is unclear how he was made. He is powerful and bridges the roles of native, colonialist and Latin American exploiter. He is essentially raping the island even as we see his sex with the native girl as rape or a least reprehensible.
The question of the play, or at least of his characters is does this behavior precede his time on the island. Did Percy begin as one who sneered at everything or did his time on the island do that to him.
We may never know. His self-awareness may be what separates him from the others in the play. He sneers at himself as well as the world around him. His in living, as Kurtz does in Heart of Darkness, on,y in his last movements. he looks at his works and sees THE HORROR…. But unlike Kurtz, that living relationship with the horror has not broken him but pushed him toward his experimental revenge on the world.
He is the lord of the flies: the dead carcasses of the animals, the natives pushed into reservations, of a teen whore, of the Routledge’s.
Percy is the driving force of MANA and he is changed and changing on the island, descending into the chaos of his world with a lordly hand to create a distorted order on Easter Island.

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