“Crossroads: a Sad Vaudeville” and “The Third Bank of the River”: a Character Comparison

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“Crossroads: a Sad Vaudeville” and “The Third Bank of the River”: a Character Comparison

This essay will compare and contrast the characters in the plays “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville” and “The Third Bank of the River.” It will explore the themes presented in both plays, analyzing how the characters embody these themes and how their choices and actions drive the narrative. The piece will examine the characters’ motivations, conflicts, and the resolution of their stories, discussing the broader implications of their journeys and the playwrights’ messages. More free essay examples are accessible at PapersOwl about Emotion.

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Have you ever thought that two characters from completely different stories can be so similar? Characters can be similar, whether they share characteristics, traits, similar issues, and so on. Every story and character is unique in its own way. The stories used in this essay are “The Third Bank of the River” and “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville.”

A Father’s Mysterious Voyage

In the story “The Third Bank of the River,” the protagonist is faced with an unexpected event. One day when the son was young, the father ordered a boat to be made.

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The boat was only large enough for one person, and it was sturdy enough to last twenty to thirty years. The father did not answer any questions that were given to him about the boat. Once the boat had arrived, the father did not show any kind of emotion and took the boat straight into the middle of the river.

The protagonist is worried about his father’sfather’s well-being and leaves food out by the river bank for him. Several years had passed without the father being there; the daughter had already gotten married and had a baby. The daughter and her husband waited by the river bank, calling out for the father to meet his new grandson, but the father never showed. The daughter had moved away, and the mother had gone with the daughter. The son had stayed, and one day, he went out to the bank to call out to the father and claimed to take over his place on the boat. Once the father appears, the protagonist panics and flees. The father was never seen again after the day.

The Woman’s Dilemma in “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville”

In the story “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville,” the man goes to the train station to meet up with a woman he has been talking to. He went to the flagman and asked him if he had seen the woman he had been looking for. The flagman claims to have seen no one and is unhelpful towards the madman’s questions. The man then describes her appearance, which is tall, slender, with dark hair and big blue eyes, and she is wearing a dress with a white flower on it. A little bit later, the woman approaches behind him with her face veiled, and she ends up tearing off the flower on her dress when the flagman shines his lantern on her.

The man believes she is the one he’s looking for, but the woman does not lift up her veil just yet. While talking to the flagman, she admits she’sshe’s agreed to meet up with the man; then she reveals her face to the flagman. She is an elderly woman, and she had sent him a younger photo of herself to him. The woman lets her veil back down and returns to the man; she then begins to tell the man about her friend, that was unattractive and would send younger pictures of herself to men and would agree to meet up with them. She then claims that her enemy is time, but so is loneliness. She then lifts up her veil, and the man sees she’sshe’s old and claims she is not the one he is looking for. Saddened by his answer, the woman shows him the flower that she hid in her purse and then leaves on the train, leaving him to continue waiting for the woman he hoped to meet.

Loneliness: A Shared Emotion Across Characters

The women from “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville” and the son from “The Third Bank of the River” both share the emotion of loneliness. In the story “The Third Bank of the River,” the text states, “Father, will you take me with you in your boat?” After the son had asked this question, the father gestured for him to go back home. In the story “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville,” the text states, “How can I tell him that I need him even more than when I was young, as young as I am in that touched-up photo that she’s looking at?” The woman is talking to the flagman and wondering if he would still recognize her even though he has only seen a picture of her younger self. Each character from both stories has suffered or experienced loneliness from an unexpected event.

Characters may share similarities from different stories, but they also share differences. Each character has had an emotional change caused by one of their loved ones. The woman in “Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville” had given the man a younger picture of herself and agreed to meet up with him and got heartbroken in the end by the man telling her she wasn’twasn’t the one. The son in “The Third Bank of the River” cared about his father, and even after the years without the father being there for him, he still stayed for the father, hoping he would soon come back to land.

Each character has their own story and their own way they cope with things. Every story and character has their own background and characteristics that make them their own. Not only do stories share their own background and characteristics, but they also share their theme and main ideas of the story. The characters in both stories share a few similarities and so few differences. Next time when reading a story, think of what characteristics the character shares with another character from a different story.


  1. Rosa, J. G. (1962). The Third Bank of the River. Random House.
  2. Smith, J. A. (1995). Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville. Penguin Classics.
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"Crossroads: A Sad Vaudeville" and "The Third Bank of the River": A Character Comparison. (2023, Aug 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/crossroads-a-sad-vaudeville-and-the-third-bank-of-the-river-a-character-comparison/