In the play Joker in the Pack by Charles Cohen, the lead character, Mitch Parker, is alienated by everyone in his life. The play leads us to believe that Mitch’s Father frequently bullies him and puts him down and makes him feel unworthy. Mitch’s friends also alienate him as they constantly tease him and physical abuse him. During school, the educators put Mitch on the spot, center him out front of the entire class and compare him to his “perfect” older brother Clifford. But worst of all, Mitch alienates himself by fooling around and not taking things serious enough.
Overall Mitch is an outsider in his own life which oesn’t do much to help his cause. Mitch’s father alienates Mitch plenty of ways by verbally and physically abusing him and by making him feel not a part of the family. He does not act the way a father should. One night when the Parker’s were sitting at the dinner table Mitch and his father were getting into an argument. His father then told him not to get smart with him. Mitch then replied with “You know I wouldn’t do that, Dad. You know I’m not smart. You tell me about it all the time” (pg 3).
This is not right, parents should support and encourage their son or daughters to become intelligent, incredible human beings. They hould push them so they can become the best of their ability, not put them down and make them feel worthless like Mitch’s father did to him. By him telling Mitch that he is not smart all the time it shows he doesn’t care for Mitch and what he does. Making him feel like he not a part of the family. Later in the argument during dinner, Mitch’s father was getting irritated with Mitch and said to him “I think you’d better leave the table, boy” (pg 3).
Mitch’s father is applying to him that if he does not leave the table he will physically abuse him. This is known as a threat. Later in the play, Mitch is referring to his father when is ays to his friends “He’ll show you how to give me a whipping” (pg 5). This proves that Mitch’s father physical abuse him often and his threats are serious. Fathers supposed to love their children unconditionally, teach them to take responsibility and be there for them. Mitch’s father, however, seems to bully him around, try to make him feel worthless and not a good enough for the family.
This would definitely make Mitch feel like an outsider in his own family. When Mitch left to go to his club meeting Mitch’s father said to his wife “Well, I have one son I can be proud of. I suppose that’s all any man can ask. pg 4). This shows how the father clearly favorites Clifford over Mitch. It is like the father feels if Mitch is not like his brother Clifford then he is not good enough for the family. Siblings can not be compared against each other as everyone is different and has their own unique ways. This again shows why Mitch feels alienated from the family.
OveralI, while Mitch’s mother does try to include Mitch and make him feel a part of the family, it does not make up for his father who is unsupportive, shows favoritism towards Clifford, threatens to beat him and is just a horrible parent. Mitch’s friends continuously alienate and harass Mitch throughout the story by name calling, physically abusing and threatening him. Mitch takes the abuse because he wants to be a part of a group. Before the club meeting started, Mitch’s friends were asking him about his meeting with the Principal.
Mitch made it sound like it was no big deal and he was in control of the meeting. Red thinks the principal is too soft and if he was the principal and someone like Mitch came into his office, he would “give him a good spanking” (pg 4). Mitch’s friends, then grab Mitch and Red started slapping him. Mitch was pleading for elp and they kept slapping him. They are physically abusing Mitch and are intentionally trying to hurt him. Friends are supposed to protect each other not hurt each other. After this Mitch would definitely not feel a part of this group because he would not feel safe being there.
During the club meeting Mitch was acting extremely rudely and shouting out ridiculous response when Len told him “One more crack out of you, I’ll throw you out of the meeting” (pg 5). Although Mitch was shouting out ridiculous responses, his friends could have asked him politely to stop instead of threatening to kick him out. Mitch ould not feel welcome to share his ideas, even if they are bizarre, with his friends and really wonder if these group of people are for him. Throughout the play, Mitch’s friends constantly called him the “Nut” (pg 4).
Although nicknames are common in a group of friends, being called the nut is something not to be proud of. It means that you are crazy and different from ordinary people. J make Mitch feel like an outsider, especially being called that by his so-called friends. Overall, these people are not Mitch’s friends. They take advantage of Mitch, abuse and makes him feel alienated. Mitch takes the abuse as he believes he finally elongs to something, but the people associated with the club are not the same as Mitch ad push him away.
The educators at Mitch’s school are not good role models as they should normally be. They alienate Mitch by picking on him, comparing him to his older brother and centering him out. When Mitch was in the principal office, Mr. Darrel was reading him the report the being called different would definitely teachers had made about him. Mr. Darrel then said he won’t bother reading the rest of the reports as neither of them have any time and they all say Mitch is an “insolent an indifferent student” (pg 1). The educators are saying Mitch is acting out, not doing his work, and being disrespectful.
The educators are not acting like good role models as they are singling Mitch out and putting him down. This would make Mitch feel like an outsider as he would feel really stupid and like he is the only one that acts the way he does. While in the principal office, Mr. Darrel was talking to Mitch about his older brother Clifford. Mr. Darrel then told Mitch “You could do worse than model yourself after him, you know” (pg 2). Mr. Darrel means that Mitch should be just like his brother who is a great athlete, smart and everybody oves him especially his parents.
This would force Mitch like he is not good enough for anybody and an outsider because everybody loves Clifford and expect nothing less from Mitch. When really Mitch is amazing and completely different from Clifford because of everybody different. In history class, Mitch was called upon to answer a question by Mr. Garbett. Mitch did not know the answer and Mr. Garbett replied to Mitch with “It seems that we were a little over-optimistic as to the progress Parker seemed to have made. You may resume your nap, Parker” (pg 8). People start laughing because they think Mitch is tupid.
It hurts Mitch a lot because he is trying really hard, but then Mr. Garbett puts him down and centers him out in front of the entire class. Mitch loses pride as people are laughing at him and feels like an outsider because he does not know the answer to the question and other people do. Overall, everybody is different and the teachers should know that. They are supposed to be supportive, accepting and help students develop into the best person they can be. Not put them down, make them be someone they do not want to be and compare them to other people, like Mitch and Clifford.