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OLEANNA: Power and Education Alice Shen 沈容聞 9642024 Contemporary Theater and Film Adaptation 30 April 2015 1.

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Presentation on theme: "OLEANNA: Power and Education Alice Shen 沈容聞 9642024 Contemporary Theater and Film Adaptation 30 April 2015 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 OLEANNA: Power and Education Alice Shen 沈容聞 Contemporary Theater and Film Adaptation 30 April

2 Background of Oleanna Summary of Oleanna Political correctness, power, language, gender and higher education Power struggle of language, academia and education Conclusion 30 April 20152

3 “Oh, to be in Oleanna, That’s where I would rather be. Than be bound in Norway And drag the chains of slavery” - Folk song Nineteenth-century utopian community 19ths Culture War Political Correctness Radical Feminism 30 April

4 Summary  A male college instructor John and his female student Carol discuss her failing grade.  The contention is that Carol’s question about John’s course in the beginning, then turns to discuss the ideas of higher education.  John cannot have promotion because Carol’s accusation of his sexual harassment.  Out of rage, he beats Carol.

5 The Power of Academia and Language  Carol: What is a term of art?(2)  John: It seems to mean a term, which has come, through its use, to mean something more specific than the words would, to someone not acquainted with them…indicate.(3)

6 The Power of A Teacher  Carol: I’m doing what I’m told. I bought your book. I read your… (6).  John: A few more times. Your grade’s an ‘A’ ” (25).  John: Because I like you. (21)

7 The Power of A Teacher (cont.)  CAROL: You disagree with that?  JOHN: Well, let’s address that. What do you think?  CAROL: I don’t know.  JOHN: What do you think, though? (Pause)  CAROL: I don’t know.  JOHN: I spoke of it in class. Do you remember my example?  CAROL: Justice.  JOHN: Yes. Can you repeat it to me? (She looks down at her notebook.) Without your notes? I ask you as a favor to me, so that I can see if my ideas was interesting. [Mamet’s ellipses] (29)

8 The Power Struggle between John and Carol  John: I want to tell you something. I am a teacher. Eh? It’s my name on the door, and I teach the class. (76)  John: I’m not a …’exploiter,’ and you’re not a …’deranged,’ … But I know that I can tell you what I think about education, and then you decide.(53).

9 The Power Struggle between John and Carol (cont.)  Carol: “I came here to instruct you.”(67)  Carol: “No. Because I have, you think, power over you.” (68)  Carol: “I WANT UNDERSTANDING.” (71)  Carol: “So deeply that, that any atmosphere of free discussion is impossible.”  The changing of Carol

10 The defect of Higher Education  John: I came late to teaching. And I found it Artificial. The notion of ‘I know and you do not’; and I saw an exploitation in the education process. I told you. I hated school, I hated teachers. I hated everyone who was in the position of a ‘boss’ because I knew-I didn’t think…(22)

11 Conclusion  In Oleanna, Mamet discusses about higher education, and he indicates the defects of it. It is significant that he operates the probe of it into separate issues while they are linked to each other and emerge in whole play.  The contention is that Carol’s question about John’s course in the beginning then turns to discuss the ideas of higher education.  Through the revelation of conflict between the teacher and the student, Mamet implicitly questions the concept of higher education in terms of the power struggle of language, academia and teacher.

12 References 30 April  1. Mamet, David. Oleanna. New York : Vintage Books,  2. Mamet, David. “Oleanna.” One on One : The Best Women's Monologues For the Nineties. Ed. Jack Temchin. New York : Applause Books, c  3. Mamet, David. Oleanna. Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1994  4.Murphy, Brenda. “Oleanna: Language and Power.” The Cambridge Companion to David Mamet. Ed. Christopher Bigsby. New York: Cambridge University Press,  5.Skloot, Robert. “Oleanna, or, The Play of Pedagogy.” Gender and Genre : Essays on David Mamet. Ed. Christopher C. Hudgins and Leslie Kane. New York: Palgrave,  6.Wei-jan, Chi= 紀蔚然, “ 請問閣下 PC 呼?:美國九 ○ 年代的文化 之戰與《歐利安娜》的個案 =Are You PC?: The Cultural War of the 1990s in America and the Case of Oleanna.” 中外文學 =Chung-Wai Literary Monthly 29.12(2001):6-27  7. “ 奧利安娜 ”. 牛棚劇訊. 4 Jan 


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