William Shakespeare’s line, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” certainly applies in A.L. Freeman’s The Bright Side of Life. After receiving a scholarship to study acting, Charlie, a native Australian, finds himself in the “theatre city.” All his life he has dreamed of performing on the London stage. In an instant, Charlie can easily visualize and place himself in character. He often thinks himself into a role just to calm himself down. He believes there is always good reason to be over-dramatic. Charlie, a renowned optimist, oozes with self confidence. No matter what life throws at him, he manages to find the “Bright Side of Life.”
Life does its share of hurling obstacles at Charlie. He finds himself enduring a series of unfortunate events. When all seems lost, Charlie gets his big break, echoing Charlie’s dad’s motto: “You never know what’s around the corner.”
The Bright Side of Life is a comical tale of overcoming mishaps. A.L. Freeman’s Australian humor is underscored throughout the tragi-comedy. Although written in a casual manner, The Bright Side of Life has just the right amount of “proper” English terminology. It also has a few French and Italian phrases as well. Metaphors are profoundly used to express emotion of the characters, “the unaccustomed hard little walnut of sadness in his chest wouldn’t be dislodged.” Freeman’s application of imagery is also used in the scene description, especially illustrating the ridiculous decor of the Alderwood House. The protagonist’s upbeat manner plays right into the never-ending situational comedy. He truly finds the bright side to every situation, much to the chagrin of the other characters. However, his character does arc with the climax of the drama, allowing him to grow and surpass his naiveté.