Wendy Wasserstein’s one-act play Tender Offer makes a persuasive argument in favor of openness and discussion in family relations. This two-character short play is centered on the conflict and miscommunication that could arise between a father and daughter. The concerns and preoccupations of Lisa and her father are very distant. The father, for example is mostly drawn into thinking about his business activities. Lisa, on the other hand, is insecure and vulnerable, as girls of her age tend to be. She complains to her father that he seldom finds any time to talk to her. The father, in reply, doesn’t take this complaint seriously at first. But upon Lisa’s persistence, agrees to have a talk with her after reaching home. When the two finally settle down and talk, they figure that their worlds are not as incompatible as it seemed.
Wendy Wasserstein portrays the character of Lisa as that of an insecure, petulant, yet charming young girl. Her father is shown to display a macho trait, in that he had remained insensitive to Lisa’s demands of bonding for so long. But, as the denouement and ending of the play shows, the two of them warm up to each other and their relationship strikes a cordial note in no time. The author is implicitly arguing that by paying attention to the needs and wishes of our love ones, the relationship could be strengthened and made more fulfilling. The final scene shows the father dancing to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, much to the bemusement and embarrassment of young Lisa. But this act is symbolic of the transformation in the relationship, which went from being troubled to a state of enjoyment.
Di Yanni, Robert. Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008. Print.