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Feminist Drama & How I Learned to Drive Week 12 段馨君 副教授 國立交通大學 人文社會學系.

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Presentation on theme: "Feminist Drama & How I Learned to Drive Week 12 段馨君 副教授 國立交通大學 人文社會學系."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feminist Drama & How I Learned to Drive Week 12 段馨君 副教授 國立交通大學 人文社會學系

2 F EMINIST D RAMA In 1970, Kate Millet wrote the influential Sexual Politics, which called attention to gender bias in politics and in art. She illustrated ways of recognizing and interpreting the “image of woman”in literature written by men as misogynistic and subversive to women’s interest.

3 Sue-Ellen Case, noted the absence of women as playwrights and the biased treatment of women as characters of fiction and drama. Gertrude Stein, a truly original writer, experimented with language, syntax, and musical forms. F EMINIST D RAMA

4 The consciousness of audiences and readers about women’s lives, feelings, needs and ambitions. Today’s feminist drama is a further articulation of women’s viewpoints and vew dramatic forms for mirroring the special rhythms, emotions, and experiences of women. G ENDER, A RT AND P OLITICS

5 Marsha Norman, Beth Henley, and Paula Vogel emerged from the regional theaters Julie Bovasso, Maria Irene Fornes, Tina Howe, and Suzan-Lori Parks came from Off Off Broadway In their work, women’s biologism and ssuch social issues as pedophilia, rape, domestic violence, and discrimination serve as ultimate signs of women’s oppression and victimization by men. G ENDER, A RT AND POLITICS

6 Lesbian feminism resists bothh patriarchy and compulsory heterosexuality and celebrates the lesbian experience and perspective. This viewpoint also includes an acknowledgement of the invisibility or unmarked identity of women in modern cultures and social groups. G ENDER, A RT AND POLITICS

7 The feminist critics recognized today in the US for their pioneering writing on theater and performance are Sue-Ellen Case, Gayle Austin, Lynda Hart, Jill Dolan, Peggy Phelan, and Elin Diamond. In writing for the theater, feminist playwrights introduced new subjects, vocabularies, characters, forms and alternative modes of perception. F EMINIST T HEORY

8 Feminist play structure has a contiguous organization characterized by nonlinear narrative, fragmentary scenes, elliptical forms, indirect dialogue, ambiguity rather than clarity and interrupted rather than completed action. Their experience of time and relationships is one of constant interruption. F EMINIST P LAY S TRUCTURE

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10 Paula Vogel's play How I Learned to Drive opened in New York in February The play concerns an affair between its protagonist, named Li'l Bit, and her uncle Peck. The affair takes place over the course of years, with the character of Li'l Bit maturing from age eleven to eighteen before she puts an end to it. B ACKGROUND

11 In spite of the serious situation, there are many comical elements of the play, which avoids the expected condemnation of this situation to look at the basic humanity that binds these two characters. B ACKGROUND

12 It uses innovative staging techniques to fade from one time frame to another and one place to the next. It also uses just three actors, in addition to those playing Li'l Bit and Peck, to represent all of the other characters who affect their lives, especially their quirky, intimidating rural Maryland family. B ACKGROUND

13 Lil' Bit Uncle Peck Lil' Bit's mother Lil' Bit's grandmother Lil' Bit's grandfather C HARACTER

14 It starts with Li'l Bit as an adult, addressing the audience, as if she is giving a lecture about how to drive. She describes Maryland during her youth in the 1960s, and then the setting dissolves into 1969, with her uncle Peck sitting in a Buick Riviera. Seventeen-year- old Li'l Bit climbs in next to him. P LOT

15 He takes the role of a child, telling her that he has been good, and she acts like an authority figure to him. When he says that he has not had a drink all week, she allows him the ‘‘small reward'' of undoing her bra. When they leave their parking spot, Li'l Bit drives. P LOT

16 At a family dinner in 1969, the conversation focusing on the size of her breasts is embarrassing to Li'l Bit. Her grandfather makes one wise crack after another about her breasts being big, until Li'l Bit flees the room for some privacy. Peck is the one who follows her and consoles her. Feeling better, Li'l Bit arranges to meet him later that night. P LOT

17 Grown-up Li'l Bit, as narrator, explains to the audience that she was kicked out of school in 1970 for constant drinking and then took a job in a factory and spent her nights drinking and racing through the streets in her car. P LOT

18 The scene fades to Li'l Bit and Peck at an inn far from home along the Maryland shore in 1968 (a year before the family dinner portrayed earlier). The occasion is a celebration of Li'l Bit having received her driver's license. Peck, who has had a drinking problem, does not order a drink, but he tells Li'l Bit to have one, even though she is only sixteen. P LOT

19 Li'l Bit's mother shows up at the side of the stage to give the audience ‘‘A mother's guide to social drinking,’’ which includes such advice as to eat much bread and butter and never to order sugary "ladies'' drinks. Li' l bit orders a martini and quickly becomes drunk. P LOT

20 When they leave, she is hardly able to walk, and she expects Peck to try to take advantage of her. She objects to their relationship, and he tells her not to worry, that he is a man and will not do anything sexual until she wants to. P LOT

21 Director: Rhodes students Leading actor: Rhodes students Year: 2009 Showing Part: several scenes from the play From 00:00 to 01:33 XhonUSLI F ILM - CLIPS

22 Director: USC students Leading actor: USC students Year: 2008 Showing Part: Li’l Bit and her family From 00:00 to 03:30 DIWX5IA&feature=related F ILM - CLIPS

23 Director: students from Indiana University Department of Theatre and Drama Leading actor: Indiana University students Year: 2010 Showing Part: several scenes from the play From 00:00 to 01:49 EMWPE F ILM - CLIPS

24 Director: Roberto Prestigiacomo Leading actor: Pamela Roza, Matthew Wright Year: 2010 Showing Part: Li’l Bit and her uncle Peck From 00:00 to 02:24 1mobARE F ILM - CLIPS

25 Paula Vogel writes as a radical feminist with women as the center of situatons that portray the effects of male dominatino and abusive behavior toward women. Focus Vogel’s twin themes of incest and pedophilia, which drive the play. A NALYSIS

26 Vogel’s nonlinear narrative is madeup of nineteen scenes that portray the sexual initiation of Li’l Bit. Li’l Bit’s family and friends form the backdrop to explaiin her socially conditioned responses to her sexual initiation by an adult relative. A NALYSIS

27 The story’s complexity is enlarged by Peck, whose personal history is that of pedophile, voyeur, and sexual deviant. A NALYSIS

28 The play is framed by Li’l Bit’s two monologues, which set the emotional and physical landscape for the adolescent’s sexual molestation. A NALYSIS

29 Li’l Bit’s unspoken lesson is the residual effects, twenty years later, of her seven- year sexual molestation during her formative adolescent years. A NALYSIS

30 The final scene suggests that Li’l Bit can’t fully escape the consequences of her abusive past. She has been damaged but she can come to an understanding of her relationship with Peck. As she works toward finding self- forgiveness, understanding and peace, she is effectively getting on with her life. A NALYSIS

31 ed_to_Drive res=9807E3DB1138F93AA2575AC0A R EFERENCE


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