Sample English Essays on The Play Tender Offer

The play Tender Offer by Wendy Wasserstein opens up with a young girl  Lisa doing her music recital in the studio. Paul, the girl’s father enters the studio and renders his apology for coming in late. Paul is a typical man consumed in his business activities at the expense of his family. Lisa is full of talent but often feels detached and neglected. The play unfolds through a conversation between father and daughter. There is a feeling of hostility between the father and daughter at the beginning of the play (“Literature, 5E”). However, changes occur within the characters as the play unfolds and they begin feeling compassionate for each other. Wasserstein effectively uses his characters to explain the role of effective communication in family interactions.

The play opens up the conflict between the father and his daughter. Paul has missed Lisa’s dance recital despite promising to come in early. When Paul enters the hallway, he offers an apology to Lisa who is dancing alone. The first line of the play shows the distance between the two characters. The author describes Paul as a man. It is only at the eighth line that the reader learns that he is Lisa’s father (Gonzalez). The short, back and forth conversation between father and daughter reveals the weakness in their relationship. Paul is so attached to his business that he does not get adequate time for his family. Through the dialogue, the father and the daughter express their feelings about each other. Eventually, they begin to feel affectionate for each other and end the hostilities in their background.

Paul marvels at Lisa’s performance. He feels excited about her progress but is more concerned about getting home early. Lisa feels neglected and worked up with her father. She invites an unnecessary debate when he says they need to get home early. She says she cannot find her leg warmers and fakes an itchy foot (“Literature, 5E”). Paul begins to get frustrated with her time wasting antics and accuses her of procrastination. There are numerous breakdowns in their conversation perhaps resembling their relationship. The conversation reveals that Paul is not snide about Lisa’s welfare or his family. However, he is too engaged in his businesses at the expense of valuable time with his family. In the end Paul changes from a seemingly negligent parent to a compassionate father.

Lisa is a talented nine-year-old girl. She is very passionate about music.  She has won a trophy for exemplary performance in a music concert. However, the conditions in her family background deprive her of the joy. Weak emotional connection, lack of intimacy, and reoccurring conflicts are common in Lisa’s family background. Lack of time for the family and ineffective communication weaken family relationships (PollShell). Paul realizes his weaknesses when Lisa confronts him over negligence. Not even the trophy makes it easy for her. She disregards the award tells her father that the trophy is stupid. Change within Paul is evident from his reaction after the confrontation with Lisa. Instead of getting defensive, he feels remorseful for his actions. He introduces the story of the black and white knight before making a tender offer for Lisa. This conversation eases the tension in their relationship. The background of their conversation shifts from hostility at the beginning to a lighter and friendly one towards the end.

When the play begins, it is very clear that Lisa and Paul do not get along well. As the play proceeds, the tension in their relationships becomes lighter and eventually fades out. Paul and Lisa get a chance to express their feelings about each other. The compassionate communication that emerges between the two characters changes their relationship from a dysfunctional one to a normal and stable family.



Works Cited

Gonzalez, Irene. “Tender Offer Analysis”. Prezi.Com, 2013, Accessed 6 Aug 2018.

“Literature, 5E”. Mhhe.Com, Accessed 6 Aug 2018.

PollShell. “A Relationship That Changes for The Better – Writework”. Writework.Com, 2004, Accessed 6 Aug 2018.