Literature and Theatre!


Adriana Sanchez

It all comes to a close…

Dear future literature and theatre students,

First of all, I would like to say that you’re in for a real treat next year. This class does include a lot of reading and writing, however, it’s not the typical boring type of schoolwork that you’ll find frustrating to do. It’s the kind of work that requires you to challenge your thoughts and writing skills in an entertaining fashion.

I suggest for you all to keep up with the readings, blogs, and writing assignments. If you read the plays and other passages that may be assigned then not only will you be able to follow along in the class discussions, but you’ll also do well on the POP QUIZZES. So make sure to avoid forgetting to read before class so that you’ll be able to see these pop quizzes as easy rather than unpleasant surprises. As for the blogs, they are pretty simple to do as long as you understand what you read. The writing assignments are, in my opinion, rather difficult if you don’t know how to apply the skills that are explained in class. When you’re writing these essays, make sure to keep in mind two very important questions that you will learn: “SO WHAT?” and “WHY DOES IT MATTER?”

These two questions helped me realize that it’s important to give your writing a purpose and meaning. In order to do this, I learned that you must include the thoughts of others as well as your own ideas. In addition to learning this, I feel like I developed writing skills that will help me make what I write worth reading. I hope that you all feel this way as well at the end of the course, and I strongly encourage you to follow my suggestions because it’s for your own good!

The End of Gilman’s Dollhouse

This ending came as a complete surprise to me. I expected the only difference in the ending to be her leaving with the kids. But when she opened the door shortly after she had asserted her independence by saying that she was going to leave Terry, I was shocked!

Even though it might seem like she was not strong and independent enough to leave her husband, I think that she also stayed with him for a different reason. In my opinion, Nora might have wanted to resolve the issues in her marriage instead of just abandoning the situation. And Terry did appear to be a changed man in the end when he offered to do all of the things he would expect a wife to do.

So Nora’s decision to stay with her husband could have been a sacrifice of her own independence to keep her family united. It is evident that she had no desire to continue being Terry’s “doll”. Therefore, she might plan to gain her independence gradually without having to put the children through any family issues.

Reflection on Marat/Sade Film

The film version of Marat/Sade gave me a clear image of the staging of the play as well as the physical appearance of the characters. Before watching the film, I had a hard time visualizing the way that the audience was situated inside of the asylum. I also didn’t understand how the play could take place without a specific stage where the main characters could be distinguished from the rest of the patients. However, once I saw the Marat/Sade film, I understood the unique staging of the play and the particular placements of the characters in it.

The film also helped me have a better perception of the characters. While I was reading the play I couldn’t understand how patients of an asylum could take the performance of a play so seriously, for the most part, and get through all of their lines (especially Herald). After watching the film, I realized that the patients didn’t perform as “seriously” as I had thought. Their strange, and sometimes violent, actions allowed me to see them more as actual patients in an asylum performing a play. Finally, I got a better understanding of how Sade took part in the play as both a director and an actor.

Marat’s Claim

I chose the following passage on pages 192 and 193 in which Marat makes assertive claims toward his philosophy concerning the revolution he proposes.

"The people can’t pay the inflated price of bread/ Our soldiers march in rags/ The counter-revolution has started a new civil war/ and what are we doing/ The farms we confiscated from the churches/ have so far produced nothing/ to feed the dispossessed/ and years have passed since I proposed these/ farms/ should be divided into allotments/ and given farm implements and seed/ And why we have no communal workshops/ which were to be started in the old monasteries/ and country houses/ Those who have jobs/ must sweat for agents stockbrokers and speculators/ Fellow citizens/ did we fight for the freedom of those/ who exploit us again"

In this passage, Marat is calling the people of France to action. He believes that the citizens have not been compensated for being mistreated and have not been taken into consideration. He provides support for this assertion by mentioning the different ways in which the citizens of France have remained in a neglected, lower class society. Marat follows these examples of oppression by claiming that the freedom they have fought for has been wrongly placed in the hands of those who exploit them.

Even though it seems as if marat strongly believes in his call for action, a spark of doubt is placed upon him by Sade after he convinces him that teh action Marat is proposing will not lead to any good. I agree with Sade’s argument against Marat’s beliefs. Mass murders will only be followed by more violence and cruelty. Therefore, it is unnecessary to stir up so much aggression and hostility within a group of citizens who have already suffered enough.

Image Credit: Jewelry PR Division
If I were a casting director, I would cast Evan Rachel Wood for the role of Vivie in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. In this picture, she is looking directly at the camera with a confident appearance. Her neatly pulled back hair also adds to the physical features Vivie would have. It makes her seem proper and professional which is how Vivie is described in the play.
Another feature in this image that resembles Vivie’s character is Evan Rachel Wood’s smile. She is hinting a smile with a relaxed expression. During the play, Vivie was rarely described as a giddy young woman. She was mostly depicted as troubled by the role her mother played, or didn’t play, in her life. However, the fact that Rachel Wood is slightly smiling connects with Vivie’s self-contentment at the end of the play when she releases herself from the unhealthy relationships that held her back from being the independent and successful woman she wanted to be.

Image Credit: Jewelry PR Division

If I were a casting director, I would cast Evan Rachel Wood for the role of Vivie in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. In this picture, she is looking directly at the camera with a confident appearance. Her neatly pulled back hair also adds to the physical features Vivie would have. It makes her seem proper and professional which is how Vivie is described in the play.

Another feature in this image that resembles Vivie’s character is Evan Rachel Wood’s smile. She is hinting a smile with a relaxed expression. During the play, Vivie was rarely described as a giddy young woman. She was mostly depicted as troubled by the role her mother played, or didn’t play, in her life. However, the fact that Rachel Wood is slightly smiling connects with Vivie’s self-contentment at the end of the play when she releases herself from the unhealthy relationships that held her back from being the independent and successful woman she wanted to be.

Mrs. Warren’s Profession Acts II-III

Mrs. Warren’s Profession illustrates the possibility of a man degrading himself for money. This play switches the roles of both a man and a woman from those portrayed in A Doll House. In Ibsen’s play, the woman, Nora, was the one who was expected to change who she was to keep her role as a good mother and wife with monetary value in the face of her current society. However, in Mrs. Warren’s Profession, the man, Frank, is the character whose main desire is to marry for financial and social value while the woman, Vivie, is the one who is sought after for her significance in both aspects.

Frank also displays the similar childlike qualities that Nora displays toward Torvald in A Doll House. This reveals the type of person Frank is willingly attempting to be to gain Vivie’s affection. Yet, in doing so, he is obviously degrading himself as a man in order to get what he wants out of marriage, even though he claims that he only wants to marry her out of love.

Macbeth

The tragic and dark tale of Macbeth reveals the importance of the values and morality of life. Macbeth, the play’s main character, represents a man who loses respect for these valuable concepts. He starts off as an impressively courageous and noble hero and eventually downgrades to a deceitful coward. This extreme change in character takes place when he is told his future by three witches. His prophecy states that he will become the king of Scotland. The feature of this prediction that makes it so intriguing is that it instills an intensely evil thought within Macbeth, murder. In order for the prophecy to be fulfilled, Mabeth realizes that he must kill the king. He eventually decides to act rashly and commit murder. Once he has killed the king of Scotland, he kills more people with less consideration of the immoral act. As a result, Shakespeare, the writer of Macbeth, successfully leaves the reader with a sense of how crucial the magnitude of principles and goodness is in life.

What an Ending!

Nora’s unexpected outburst of expression regarding her true feelings was extremely satisfying! I didn’t expect for her to finally do what she thought was beneficial for herself as an individual, but I’m very glad that she did. I initially perceived Nora’s character as only an adult woman who was trapped in a lifestyle through which she had to act like a loveable child in order to be loved by her husband.

Because I viewed her as merely a childish woman, I thought that she would end up having to hide her authentic self forever. However, the ending completely took me by surprise when she revealed a mature and determined side of her.

The only part of the ending that I didn’t like so much was the fact that Nora was willing to give up her role as a mother, as well as a wife. I feel as if she abandoned her children without much thought as to how much they would suffer without her. Other than that, I really enjoyed reading everything she had to way for herself and how she rightfully claimed her role as a human being rather than a manipulated doll.

The Helmers’ View on Love

Helmer: Nora dear, I can forgive you this panic, even though basically you’re insulting me. Yes, you are! Or isn’t it an insult to think that I should be afraid of a courtroom hack’s revenge? But I forgive you anyway, because this shows so beautifully how much you love me. This is the way it should be, my darling Nora. Whatever comes, you’ll see: when it really counts, I have strength and courage enough as a man to take on the whole weight myself. (pg.161)

Nora: No, never in all the world.

Helmer: Good. So we’ll share it, Nora, as man and wife. That’s as it should be.

This passage clearly reveals Helmer’s view of love from Nora as an expression of deep concern for him. He interprets her moment of “panic” as fear of the danger that he could encounter by firing Krogstad, which leads to his heartfelt forgiveness for her alleged insult. Helmer then states that this is the correct type of love Nora should have for him, referring to her adoration and care.

The last statement Helmer makes in the passage presents his outlook on the type of love he should have for Nora, which deals with his ability to “have the strength and courage enough as a man to take on the whole weight.” By taking on this “weight,” he believes that he is taking on his rightful, and dominant, role as her husband. Nora, however, disagrees with Helmer’s decision to deal with “whatever comes” by himself and implies that she should also help in taking responsibility for the obstacles they may have to face. Helmer agrees with Nora and esposes his position on a somewhat “equal” marriage by proposing they “share” the responsibility.

Image Credit: Female First
If I had the opportunity to cast one of the characters in The Tempest, I would definitely cast Johnny Depp for the role of Antonio. Johnny Depp has a generally mysterious appearance in real life, as well as in several of his previous movie roles, such as Secret Window and Sleepy Hollow. In this picture, Depp’s black clothes and long, dark, and messy hair give him a sinister kind of look similar to the appearance Antonio should have. Since Antonio is a manipulative character capable of betraying innocent people close to him with no remorse, one could assume that he would be able to look directly at you with a particular stare in which his inner intentions, good or bad, cannot be distinguished. In the image, it looks as if Johnny Depp is looking straight at you, yet his thoughts remain unpredictable and mysterious.

Image Credit: Female First

If I had the opportunity to cast one of the characters in The Tempest, I would definitely cast Johnny Depp for the role of Antonio. Johnny Depp has a generally mysterious appearance in real life, as well as in several of his previous movie roles, such as Secret Window and Sleepy Hollow. In this picture, Depp’s black clothes and long, dark, and messy hair give him a sinister kind of look similar to the appearance Antonio should have. Since Antonio is a manipulative character capable of betraying innocent people close to him with no remorse, one could assume that he would be able to look directly at you with a particular stare in which his inner intentions, good or bad, cannot be distinguished. In the image, it looks as if Johnny Depp is looking straight at you, yet his thoughts remain unpredictable and mysterious.