Chelsy Alvarado Ap. Literature Mr.Gango Tracing a Character: Thomasina Coverly Throughout the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard the author’s purpose within Thomasina Coverly character is to discover the law of love and life. The character Thomasina is portrayed as the intelligent thirteen year old teen who also has many theories about the second law of thermodynamics and chaos. As the story progresses she develops into a teen who learns to understand chaos which gives her the ability to adapt to the themes of knowledge, mathematics, and sex. Her knowledge also plays a huge role throughout the play and the development of the themes, motifs and characters. In the beginning Stoppard introduces Thomasina as a thirteen year old with an intelligent mind. She immediately ask question about the “carnal embrace” which gives a foreshadowing of a common topic in the play revolving around sex. Asking this she showed some knowledge of sex but not enough to know the meaning of what she asked. This also showed her transition froma child to adulthood. Her characteristics of perceptive, inquisitive and expressive is what allows her to adapt into her role of the play. This allows her to understand chaos and the mathematics of thermodynamics. It also emphasizes how one can grow up with their own individual ideas.Throughout the story they are many key moments Thomasina faced that allowed her to grow and share her ideas. An example was when she talked about stirring rice pudding, and how the jam won’t come back together if your stir it backwards. This was one of the first significant ideas she talked about because it revealed her scientific curiosity, as well as the view she had of the world. It also explained her theory on chaos and how the constant move towards disorder is a
significant characteristics of chaos. Another significant moment was when she said “ if you couldstop every atom in its position and direction, and if your mind could comprehend all the actions thus suspended... the formula must exist just as if one could.” (Stoppard) In this quote Thomasina is saying that all things can be put into an equation. Therefore she is again hinting outmore about her theory of chaos while adding math into her theory. Lastly, the key symbol of heatis an important to thomasina growth because she finally talks about the second law of thermodynamics. For example when thomasina says, “But heat equation cares very much, it only goes one way.” In this quote she not only talks about thermodynamics but she elaborates on the discovery that the world will end. Which has a significant impact in the rest of the play.