In addition to being depicted as important, John’s character is shown to be very accommodating. He even tells Joey’s parents that he will not marry Joey without their approval. There are a number of reasons for this characterization. One of the most simple is that John’s actions in this regard portray him as a sympathetic character and are keeping with his background as a doctor and professor of considerable repute. Another function of this characterization is that in refusing to force the marriage without the parents’ approval allows the film to explore the complex deliberations that motivate the main thrust of the narrative. Indeed, without John’s accommodating nature is this regard the dramatic action in the film would have no reason to occur as the outcome would already be determined. It also creates an interesting dilemma as the professed liberal parents are forced to come to terms with the reality of their progressive racial beliefs in the most dramatically compelling means possible. With its lack of action and emphasis on dialogue, the film could be a staged play. Indeed, most of it takes place in the Drayton house; however significant scenes occur in the terrace and study.
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