Another example of initial problem stage negative evaluation in this episode would be the
evaluation that comes Ruth's way for her new ' independent' lifestyle and that Connor heaps upon
himself as having aided the break-up of her marriage to Mark. In scene 23 Phil negatively evaluates
Ruth's behaviour and Connor gives negative evaluation to his own role in the marriage break-
I thought you was having a go at Ruth this evening
She had other plans. I came too late there.
How do you mean?
She's got a hot date tonight
She ain't hangin about is she?
I feel terrible for Mark
+ elicit information
What am I going to say to him now?
Most of the scenes that are not connected with the major action, of which more shortly,
follow this pattern of offering negative evaluation of people's behaviour which can then be classed
One other kind of negative evaluation, outside of the major action scenes, comes in the
evaluation slot for a text as perceived by Hoey. In soap opera terms this is evaluation of a solution.
Here, in this episode at least, all the evaluation of solutions that have been reached is
Two such examples:
You did tell him
Well what does that mean? Either you did or you didn't.
GIVE INFO /clarify
I didn't have to. He realised how stupid he was being.
What about the hepatitis?
Well Lenny's in the clear. He's never had hepatitis. That means I'm in the clear. What's the point
in telling him
I don't believe you B
Well as far as I'm concerned if it's all over and done with
elicit - opinion
Well what if Lenny says somethink
He won't. Why should he? I'll have a word with him.
eval + elicit
Oh what, it'll be your little secret again will it? Haven't you learned anything from all of this? What
about openness, what about honesty?
Well I told him everythink that matters.
Well it's your marriage
This had been the major action of the soap during the previous week. The problem was that
one of B's old lovers found he was at risk from Hepatitis B. What should B do? Rikki, her husband
was threatening to leave her because her behaviour made him suspect she was having the affair now.
One solution was to tell him everything; that was the solution urged on her by her close friend Tiff.
Bianca chose a cowardly route and told Rikki no more than she thought he needed to know. Now,
some days later when that action is no longer the key action of the day, the solution that was adopted
comes under scrutiny, by those who were involved but who did not have to produce it. Tiff finds
reason to strongly negatively evaluate her friend's behaviour.
I feel that most solutions in soap opera receive at least some negative evaluation. It is this
perhaps that makes people claim that soap knows no closure. What is meant I am sure is that soaps
know no perfect solutions; there are no solutions that occur as endings. Soap, like life goes on and
the solutions found always meet with someone's displeasure.