Our character analysis of Frank (from The Faith Healer) in class today revealed many of his main character traits: he’s detached and narcissistic, yet compelling and charismatic. Grace and Teddy can’t help but be drawn to him though their lives are miserable because of it.
To me it almost seems that Frank is only tolerating his “gift.” He seems to feel a sense of obligation to use it, even though his abilities as a healer seem arbitrary – he can’t do it all the time. Yet he can’t just walk away and quit altogether. Finally in the end, he goes out to heal someone whom he knows he can’t heal, and is killed as a result of that failure. Maybe in this way he’s holding on to his own faith that eventually he’ll do something really great as a result. He did, once, healing 10 people in one night, but it’s something he’s never been able to replicate.
The passage I chose for my monologue is one in his second turn on stage, presumably after he’s already died. He’s talking about Grace, and her father, and their inability to have a child. He muses some on the notion of having an heir, and what it might be like, only after declaring (falsely) that Grace is “barren.” Despite what he’s saying, he seems to be removed from any type of family – through marriage or through offspring – thus perpetuating his role as the traveler, the outsider, as something unavoidable. In the end of my passage, he says – admits, really, or confesses – that he knew how things were going to end once he returned to Ireland and went to the bar. In that way he seems to be saying that he wanted it to end. He got that moment of homecoming, of belonging, that he seemed inadvertently to be looking for, and then it was taken from him because of his “gift.”
About himself, Frank says that he’s not respectful of the church/clergy but he doesn’t mock them. He also feels whole when he successfully heals someone, at least for that moment.
Grace, in her passage and in her suicide, makes it clear that she can’t live without him, though her life with him hardly seemed full or satisfying. She says he wouldn’t know what happiness was and has never been “happy.” She calls him a twisted man with a talent for hurting and describes his compulsion to adjust or refashion the things and people around him: he views people as characters and created “fictions” for them. He wasn’t handsome, she admits, but he had a “magnificence” about him.
To Teddy, Frank is a mediocre artist, but has “too many brains” which seem to get in the way of his talent. He’s “a bastard in many ways” that drinks heavily but, as the poster says, is also “Fantastic.”