The King of September by Don Peteroy - Essay Example

Published: 2019-11-18
The King of September by Don Peteroy - Essay Example
Categories: Literature Theatre
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1127 words
10 min read

The king of September is a short play created by Don Peteroy. The narrative covers the tragedies at the World Trade Center, in the second Tower where a commercial airline crashes. The venue where the plane crashed was to hold a seminar on the sexual harassment that is occurs at the workplace. The workshop was mandatory for all workers and at 8:50am the workers were hurrying to take their seats in the venue. The tower was located at a position where the upstage walls revealed windows which overlook lower Manhattan in the direction of New Jersey. A horrific tragedy occurred as the tale illustrates, the occurrences of which are actual real time happenings. Don Peteroy describes the disaster in such a way that he brings out the themes of family, love, and tragedy simultaneously.

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Family, love, and Tragedy

The short story illustrates one of the most horrific events in the history of the country. The misfortune that results from the crushing of the American Airlines Flight 11 at the World Trade towers minutes after a mandatory seminar had started in the conference room. "A loud explosion is heard offstage, followed by screams. The ground shakes and the crowd panics. Lights flicker. Blackout." (Peteroy, 233). The writer provides a clear description of what went on at that moment as quoted above. The world is faced by such calamities which are unavoidable in most cases. The outcome of such incidents is the loss of life and destruction of property. The story has supporting evidence of death such as when Troilus lets them know that Hector is dead, "Investment Securities Manager Hector is dead! Slain by fallen beam!" (Peteroy, 235) As experienced in the above case, the tower collapses supporting the mentioned property destruction outcome.

The writer further illustrates the response of various rescue teams in the area. The first to turn up are the Rescue Company A and the Squad Company B. The author continues to describe the activities of the Firemen as they try to rescue those who were inside and to stop the fire. As the firemen talk, they symbolize the fire with the times of war. Calphurna says, "Elmer, a lioness hath whelped in the streets, and graves have yawned and yielded up their dead. Fierce, fiery warriors fought upon the clouds. The noise of battle hurtled in the air. These things are beyond all use, and I do fear them." (Peteroy, 234) Elmer illustrates that death is unavoidable in the end meaning no one can escape from the jaws of death when it knocks. Elmer is seen leaving the tower after telling Caalphurnia that, "What can be avoided whose end is purposed by the mighty gods? Yet we shall go forth, for these predictions are to the world in general as to me. Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste death but once. It seems most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come." (Peteroy, 234) It is as though Elmer has given up saving those who were caught inside.

Though the paper is illustrating the themes of family, love, and tragedy, one cannot fail to acknowledge how the writer likens the events of the fire with war. Both incidents have similar outcomes in that lives are lost, and properties are destroyed. The characters in the play try to show us how hard it is to escape either of the two tragic circumstances. Claudio is quoted saying, "To be imprison'd in the viewless winds, and blown with restless violence round about the pendent world; or to be worse than worst of those, that lawless and incertain thought imagine howling; tis too horrible!" (Peteroy, 237) Immediately after his words, he and others are captured in an explosion, "CLAUDIO, GUIDERIUS and OTHERS are caught in a blast of flames. WARWICK, crawling, manages to escape the fire, but is severely burned." (Peteroy, 237)

One cannot fail to notice how the characters in the play care about each other in the way they are offering help. Even the subordinates are seen helping their seniors who are a clear illustration of love. Edgar says to Gloucester, "Give me your hand. You are now within a foot of the extreme verge. For all beneath the moon, I would not leap upright." (Peteroy, 240) This quote illustrates love between the two and how they would never let their colleagues suffer when they can help. Before the end of the narrative, the horrific event is further illustrated by the pain that Robin is experiencing when he says his ending is despair and can only be relieved by a prayer to free all the faults. Collapsing of the tower results in many deaths as the rescue team cannot save everyone.


In my opinion, the short play, The Kings of September by Don Peteroy, may be fictional but the picture that Don creates is a precise image of what would happen in a similar scenario. Imagine a situation where a commercial airline crashes on one of the tallest towers in the country or a terror attack on one of those buildings; the consequences would be devastating. The property would be destroyed, and lives would be lost. The above means the detailed description of the recovery measures that are described by Don in the tale can be used by rescue teams in the case of such scenario. Also, the play shows that such incidents can occur in real life. The story also illustrates how the country is vulnerable to such tragedies (Quenemoen, 131). I believe the idea of Don though it is fictional can be used to increase disaster preparedness and anticipation.

Moreover, we cannot fail to acknowledge the love and care depicted by the rescue team in trying to help their colleagues and those who were in the building. Mostly, you would expect a junior worker not to help their seniors, but Don creates a different image where the opposite happens. I take that as good faith that Don tries to develop that is not common in our society. It illustrates how we should treat our workmates as a family. Furthermore, we spend more time with them than we do with our family members which illustrate the importance of forming a good relationship with those we work with. The affection that is developed would come in handy in the times of calamities. Therefore, we should be conscious of the inner meaning of short stories (Ellis, 252).

Work Cited

Peteroy, Don. "THE KINGS OF SEPTEMBER." (2016): 228-242.

Quenemoen, Lynn e., et al. "The World Trade Center Bombing: Injury Prevention Strategies for Highrise Building Fires." Disasters 20.2 (1996): 125-132.

Ellis, Carolyn. "Creating criteria: An ethnographic short story." Qualitative Inquiry 6.2 (2000): 273-277.

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