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University of Niš

FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY

MASTER THESIS

Jovana Kopunović

University of Niš
FACULTY OF PHIPLOSPHY

English Department MA studies

VIOLENCE IN CONTEMPORARY ANGLO-AMERICAN DRAMA

Advisor Lena Petrović, PhD

Student Jovana Kopunović,4

Niš 2011.

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Table of contents:

Abstract ................................................................................................................................ 3 Apstrakt ................................................................................................................................ 4 Introduction: Tracing Violence Back to its Roots .................................................................. 5 The Role of the Theatre......................................................................................................... 8 Destruction of the Innate Sense for Justice: How Monsters are Created............................... 10 War as Institutionalized Violence ........................................................................................ 19 Dehumanizing the Other – Dehumanizing the Self .............................................................. 25 “Peacetime” Victims - Living in the Shadow of the Father .................................................. 31 Conclusion: Turning Looking into Seeing and Breaking the Silences about Violence.......... 39 References: ......................................................................................................................... 44

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Abstract
The goal of this paper is to emphasize the importance of the role of contemporary Anglo-American drama in understanding the mechanisms behind violence, as seen in works of Edward Bond, Caryl Churchill, Sarah Kane, Emily Mann, David Rabe and Shelagh Stephenson. Although most of these plays openly criticize the politics and distorted values of western societies, their themes and conclusions are universal. They show us the environment that creates the oppressors and the victims; reveal the means of political manipulation; and propagate the return to somewhat forgotten values such as truth, love, knowledge, understanding and tolerance. The paper deals with the theories which explain when, where and how the violence originates, that is, which connect the origins of violence to the values propagated by the patriarchal society. The paper emphasizes the importance of theatre in making people, who not only stopped reacting to the injustice, but stopped noticing it, open their eyes, take action and stop thinking the way they have been taught. The abusers are created by killing what Bond calls “the innate sense for justice,” which is clearly seen in his plays Lear and Narrow Road to the Deep North as well as in Five Kinds of Silence by Shelagh Stephenson. The capitalist society, as well, is responsible for the turning into monsters the people who are incapable of finding any meaning in life, which is seen in Bond’s play Saved, where there is a brutal scene of stoning of a baby in a pram. Brutal scenes of violence whose hidden meaning is revealed in tragically unrequited desire for love from which even its cruelest characters suffer are present in Sarah Kane’s Blasted as well. Plays The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel by David Rabe, Still Life by Emily Mann, The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution and Seven Jewish Children by Caryl Churchill show war as institutionalized violence justified by lies that conceal horrible crimes. Plays Five Kinds of Silence by Shelagh Stephenson and The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution and Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchill show the victims of domestic abuse caused by the patriarchal values such as domination, authoritarianism and obedience. Despite all the horrible scenes in which these plays abound, their goal is to open some space for real changes because they show, above all, the consequences of shutting our eyes in front of the truth and keeping quiet about the things that matter.
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otvori oči i natera ih da se pokrenu i da počnu da razmišljaju drugačije od onoga kako su naučeni. Rat je u dramama The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. na pogubnost zatvaranja očiju pred istinom i ćutanja o stvarima koje su bitne. One nam prikazuju okruženje koje stvara nasilnike i žrtve. gde i zašto nasilje nastaje. I pored svih strašnih scena kojima ove drame obiluju. Emili Man. odnosno koje pojavu nasilja u ljudskoj istoriji povezuju sa vrednostima koje propagira patrijarhalno društvo. koji ne samo da ne reaguju na nepravdu. ljubav. Iako većina drama o kojima će biti reči otvoreno kritikuje politiku i iskrivljene vrednosti zapadnih društava. Nasilnici nastaju ubijanjem onoga što Bond naziva “urodjenim smislom za pravdu. takodje. Rad se osvrće na teorije koje objašnjavaju kada. Drame Five Kinds of Silence Šile Stivenson i The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution i Cloud Nine Kerol Čerčil govore o žrtvama porodičnog nasilja čiji uzrok vide u paternalističkim vrednostima poput dominacije. Kapitalističko društvo je. The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution i Seven Jewish Children Kerol Čerčil prikazan kao institucionalizovano nasilje koje se opravdava ideologijama i lažima kojima se prikrivaju strašni zločini. one imaju za svrhu da otvore prostor za stvarne promene jer ukazuju.Apstrakt Cilj ovog rada je da kroz drame Edvarda Bonda. odgovorno za stvaranje nasilnika od ljudi koji postaju nesposobni da nadju smisao života. razotkrivaju sredstva politčke manipulacije. iznad svega. Šile Stivenson. Kerol Čerčil. Sare Kejn i Dejvida Rejba ukaže na važnost i ulogu savremene angloameričke drame u razumevanju mehanizama koji dovode do nasilničkog ponašanja. tematika kojom se one bave i zaključci do kojih dolaze su univerzalni. Dejvida Rejba. Still Life Emili Man. već su prestali i da je primećuju. Sare Kejn. autoritarnosti i poslušnosti. Brutalne scene nasilja. razumevanje i tolerancija. znanje. čiji se skriveni smisao nazire u tragično neuslišenoj čežnji za ljubavlju od koje pate čak i njeni najsuroviji likovi su predmet drame Blasted. koja kulminira užasnom scenom nasilja u kojoj grupa mladića na smrt kamenuje bebu u kolevci. 4 . o čemu govori drama Saved. Edvarda Bonda. i zalažu se za povratak pomalo zaboravljenim vrednostima kao što su istina. Takođe se govori i o važnosti pozorišta koje ima za ulogu da ljudima.” što se jasno vidi u njegovim dramama Lear i Narrow Road to the Deep North kao i u drami Five Kinds of Silence Šile Stivenson.

org/2011/5/30/dr_gabor_mat_on_the_stress> 10 Jan. the neighborhood. the extended family. 2011 5 .democracynow. Essentially.org. the post-industrial capitalism has destroyed those conditions. notes in his interview on Democracy Now! that these hunter-gatherer societies provided optimal conditions for the development of children: “The normal basis for child development has always been the clan. Addiction. And yet. These peaceful societies. This is something we are not taught in schools. a Canadian psychiatrist. (Canada: NFB. That is the fact that should not be ignored. Gabor Mate.” Democracynow. symbolizing the unity of all life in nature. Ritual and the Novel. For the last 6000 years the patriarchal society has been ignoring or distorting the history of cultures in which female was the central figure.Introduction: Tracing Violence Back to its Roots In her documentary Goddess Remembered Donna Read reminds us of the 35 000 years of suppressed matrifocal history.”2 There was no hierarchy in these hunter-gatherer societies. Gabor Maté on the Stress-Disease Connection. Erich Fromm notes how older social norms and ideas undergo distortions and changes: “The violence of the antagonism against the theory of matriarchy arouses suspicion that the criticism was not entirely free from an 1 2 Donna Read. Fairy Tale.1 This knowledge is dangerous because it undermines the patriarchal power-dominated society based on violence and oppression by showing that the existence of peaceful societies is possible. Attention Deficit Disorder and the Destruction of American Childhood. where and why violence originates and to see that there is a possibility for a different world. the tribe. In his interpretation of The Oedipus Myth in Symbolic Language in Myth. lasted much longer than the empires that came later. Their primordial deity was a female figure. Europe’s Neolithic people were hunters and gatherers who relied on mother earth and depended upon one another for survival. the community. An enormous amount of archeological research done by Marija Gimbutas and others proves that the picture of brutal cavemen is wrong. 1989) DVD “Dr. Goddess Remembered. the patriarchal society seems to overlook this fact. By examining this forgotten history we have the chance to see when. because the picture of peaceful societies centered on worshiping the female goddess does not fit our classical definitions of civilizations with kings and conquests. as Marija Gimbutas points out. and because it undermines our conception of violence as something natural and inevitable. <http://www.

246 6 . the theme of the third part of the trilogy. but Heaney sees through the hypocrisy of such claim. is the conflict between the patriarchal and matriarchal principles. and now the goddess of war. Heaney wrote the poem as a warning to the 3 Erich Fromm. The new system of mythology was created. The same hypocrisy is present in Heaney’s homeland. as Donna Read points out. made evident in the atrocities committed on both sides in the struggle of Irish Catholics and Protestants. Fairy Tale. but as an invader who uses violence.“an assumption so foreign to the thinking and feeling of our patriarchal culture. Culture. equality and justice as opposed to the patriarchal tradition of obedience. Woman was no longer considered essential to creation or procreation.”3 Oedipus in Fromm’s interpretation embodies the matriarchal principle and he sees the play as Sophocles’ attempt to go back to the old religious traditions based on love. violence and dominance. Identity: Introducing XX Century Literary Theory. like Sophocles’ rewriting of the myth of Oedipus.” Literature. politically and psychologically. 2004) p. or act upon the received knowledge. Lena Petrović (Niš: Prosveta. blinded by the ideologies of patriarchal world.emotionally founded prejudice against an assumption so foreign to the thinking and feeling of our patriarchal culture. Through this play the audience is invited to see beyond the prejudices against matriarchy. Writing about this conflict in the world where the patriarchal principle has already prevailed shows that the artist acknowledged the importance of the female principles and that he favored them. In this poem. . without any contribution from the female. Hercules is not presented as a hero. ed. most Ancient Greeks failed to perceive the message. Antigone. brings out the real causes and consequences of the outthrow of Antaeus and his mother. Ritual and the Novel. It was the beginning of the female inferiority and the beginning of innumerable brutalities that go hand in hand with the values of the patriarchal society. not for just cause. once the goddess of love. sprang from the head of Zeus. The earth mother was replaced by a sky father. The myth of Hercules also served to reinforce the patriarchy of ancient Greece. Ireland. Athena. Seamus Heaney’s poem Hercules and Antaeus. a male god. “Symbolic Language in Myth. Hercules’ ‘heroic acts’ are said to be performed in the name of gods. but in pursuit of his glory. According to Fromm. “The Golden Age of Greece” that the history books call “the dawn of Western civilization” is actually the beginning of the obliteration and perversion of 35000 years of life that had gone before.” Unfortunately.

5 Similar hypocrisy is present in the Christian Church. by lifting him from the earth. But. Orestes’ mother Clytemnestra kills her husband Agamemnon because he was willing to sacrifice their daughter for a favorable wind. an ancient Greek play by Euripides. 7 . That is when the god Apollo appears and says to the Athenians that killing a mother does not signify destroying the primal creativity since the mother is only the nurse tending the seed planted by the father who is the true parent. the Irish and the rest of the world have failed to heed the warning.” North ( New York: Oxford UP. 53. Fairy Tale. if not all. Wars are fought all the time in one part of the world or another. See “Symbolic Language in Myth. To avenge his father. Its main product is war. that established the female inferiority forever.” And it is precisely The Book of Genesis. The hypocrisy of Apollo’s speech is revealed by a question of one Athenian who wishes to know how he can teach them not to kill their fathers when the young gods themselves have to kill their fathers to become gods. Hercules defeated Antaeus. Ritual and the Novel” in Literature. 1976) p. power 4 5 Seamus Heaney.Gaia. An excellent example of how women’s importance was diminished and how violence against women was justified can be found in Orestes. The ideologies developed to justify wars are so strong that they make us believe that wars are fought for just causes even though most of them. 244-245. who drew his power from the earth mother. conquest and domination. as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice points out to the Christians parading their moral superiority at his trial: “You have among you many a purchased slave. Identity: Introducing XX Century Literary Theory. We see how the perverted world in which an innocent child can be sacrificed diminishes the importance of the mother. That is how our destructive culture of wars and battles for dominance began. pp. Culture.people of Ireland which will be “bequeathed…/to elegists. we do not get too stressed about the wars and horrible violence going on in other parts of the world. Orestes kills his mother. by democratic means.”4 unless they end the fruitless use of violence. The principle of domination is the main driving force behind the patriarchal society. are fought for dominance. according to Dona Read. and people are so used to this state of affairs that they do not even think about it any longer. “Hercules and Antaeus. thus proclaiming the victory of the patriarchal principle based on violence. and there is a trial at which. the Athenians have to decide whether the killing of a mother is a crime. As long as there is peace at home.

”8 We see individuals who are breaking away from what is offered as general truth in the world other men have made. upon which we feed. The environment is thwarting.390. However. the world we live in makes this endeavor extremely difficult. Art.’ to give us the knowledge of the things we are not taught in school and make us act upon this new knowledge. The Role of the Theatre In his Nobel Lecture Art. but to define what they seem to be.html> 7 Edward Bond.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e. even the truth of their own lives. We see the separation between the world of action which is the world of others and the world of consciousness which is one’s own. we are armed with weapons so powerful that peace brings us the dangers of wars. Drama from Ibsen to Brecht (London: Penguin. that they live in ignorance of the truth. our media tell us of distant disasters to distract us from dealing with our own.nobelprize. Injustice is legitimized in the capitalist society and violence is seen as a necessary evil. Truth and Politics Harold Pinter talks about the interest of the politicians to gain and maintain power and notices: “To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance. p. Bond perfectly describes the condition of post-modern society which seems to be heading towards its extinction: “Every species before it becomes extinct enters into a state of post-modernism. Nobelprize. “The Nobel Prize Lecture. 1973) 387.” 2005. and Williams points to the metaphysical function of the room as a trap where the human consequences of the decisions made elsewhere are lived out: “The rooms are not there to define the people. Identity: Introducing XX Century Literary Theory.”7 Raymond Williams in Drama from Ibsen to Brecht writes about passion for truth which he sees as the driving force behind great naturalist drama. Our philosophers cannot tell us the meaning of things. 8 . 394 8 Raymond Williams.and material gain. 2010 < http://www. “Language.org.” Literature. Culture. There are signs that we no longer speak a human language. our moralists cannot tell us how we should act. This presents a move to early 6 Harold Pinter. Truth and Politics. our politicians do not understand what they are doing. 15 Jan. our children walk away from us. He notes that seeing the man-made environment in its detail will help us see the truth about people. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies. our democracy cannot define freedom for us.”6 The role of the theatre should be to unweave ‘the tapestry of lies. what they cannot accept they are… there are forces inside these people in these rooms which cannot be realized in any available life.

pdf > 18 Dec 2010. “The Revolutionary Theatre”.org. which will give them the power to reimagine themselves. As opposed to those who claim that creativity is something outside history and politics. to get truly outside. as well.” Political awareness is essential. bullets.”11 In his poem A Writer’s Story Bond shows that the world’s violent history has not ended with the end of the World War II: 9 Naomi Wallace. the dying and maiming of thousands in the Middle East by U.org. Playwrightsfoundation.pdf> Nov.org <http://nationalhumanitiescenter. which sadly. not the blood of the privileged. It is dramatic. they show the world as unacceptable and intolerable. 2007. As Boal put it: “We are theatre! . but the blood of the many. Naomi Wallace insists that the dramatists have to write about: the dying of millions of people in Africa because of the rampant greed and criminal price-hiking of multinationals. and what it ought to be. 11 <http://www.org/pds/maai3/protest/text12/barakatheatre. insists that the Revolutionary Theatre will show victims so that those in the audience may understand that they are the brothers of victims and that therefore they themselves are the victims.expressionism and its drama of a “single mind. The theatre thus acquires the power to reshape the world because it causes the souls of the people in the audience to be moved to actual understanding of what the world is. Nationalhumanitiescenter. 9 .” We are offered a unique history which paradoxically represents a general truth. Naomi Wallace insists on encouraging the students of drama to reexamine the mainstream culture and to read history constantly and aggressively. “On Writing as Transgression”.org/images/previous%20teachers/at_jan08_transgressionFINAL. are too often filled with blood. 2010 10 See Amiri Baraka. 2009.” Worldteatreday.S. but Wallace points out that we are involved in the real drama happening all around us. the fact that the bullets that end in the bodies of Palestinian children. But. as Williams suggests. an objectively critical or revolutionary consciousness.10 And to make us see what the world is.”9 Amiri Baraka.wordpress. it is changing it. 11 Augusto Boal. Not the blood of the few. the isolated consciousness has to: “try to become. Both naturalism and expressionism are deeply critical. to identify itself with. fired by Israeli solders are paid for by American taxes. “The 2009World Theatre Day International Message. Wallace writes: “I think that a more ferocious juice can be found in the veins of history. 2010. <http://wtd09.playwrightsfoundation.com/2009/02/26/the-2009-world-theatre-day-inernational-message/> 15 Dec.” and we are all actors and “being a citizen is not living in the society. 27 Mar.

“Like all who lived at the midpoint of this century or were born later I am a citizen of Auschwitz and a citizen of Hiroshima Of the place where the evil did evil and the place where the good did evil Till there is justice there are no other places on earth: there are only these two places”12 Despite all the horror. David Rabe and Caryl Churchill manage to do.” Literature. bang. classism and sexism. Edward Bond. empire. and they “do not need to be ‘political. Teachers need to make students of drama aware of this fact and make them think outside their own experience. as she observes. it’s pitch dark.”16 In his Preface to Lear. Emily Mann.”15 Many dramatists. Don’t be so bloody soft. The child expects that its needs for love. By examining their plays we see how distorted values of patriarchal society create the conditions for all sorts of violence. He talks about the innate sense for justice that every child is born with. which appear in their work. are unconsciously influenced by these values. most Western artists are in sympathy with the most repressive forces. gender. Culture. Destruction of the Innate Sense for Justice: How Monsters are Created “She punches my head. She pulls me by my arm. and the most virulent by-products of those forces: racism.”14 It is very challenging for dramatists to reveal the hidden truths for both themselves and the audience. emotional reassurance will be satisfied.” Memory of Water/Five Kinds of Silence. 394 13 Ibid. a longing which never leaves 12 Edward Bond. Don’t be so bloody soft. As Fromm explains: “The strongest longing of the infant. what are you doing up? It’s cold upstairs. Sarah Kane. homophobia. Mum. 14 Ibid. he leaves hope by ending his poem with: “But I am also a citizen of the just world still to be made.’” Naomi Wallace rightly notices that “we live in a culture that is hostile to creativity and original thought that does not serve capitalism. Identity: Introducing XX Century Literary Theory. As Baraka points out in his The Revolutionary Theatre. 1997) p. p. 15 On Writing as Transgression 16 Shelagh Stephenson. “Five Kinds of Silence. protection. it’s like being blind I don’t want to go blind like my dad I don’t want to go blind. (New York: A & C Black Publishers Ltd. “A Writer’s Story.”13 And the function of theatre should be to show how this world is possible: ”The law of plays must be cause-and-use/ To break necessity and show how there may be justice.102 10 . race and class. This is something that Shelagh Stephenson. twists with both hands like she’s wringing out washing. Bond writes about the causes of violence in our society.

I don’t remember pleasure. we fail to meet this basic need. 11. No. you’ll need it out there. As Bond explains.( New York: Fromm International Publishing Corporation. black heart. who shows no traces of motherly feelings. He heard and saw his parents fight and saw his mother throwing out his blind and drunk father on the street.. The process of soul-murder to which many children in the patriarchal capitalist society are 17 Erich Fromm. Billy. 11 . but of the cold and of the dark where he was left alone. and Matriarchy. “Bachofen’s Discovery of the Mother Right (1955). don’t send him. the experience of being loved not because I am obedient. p. Instead of giving her son protection and love. Through Billy’s flashbacks Shelagh Stephenson shows how a monster is created.” of which Billy is a perfect example: “I don’t remember pain. Without a father figure and with an uncaring mother. but never cry. She urges him to become tough. 110. food. security. That is precisely what happens to Billy in Shelagh Stephenson’s Five Kinds of Silence. Sexuality. but is also metaphorical.”18 In his statement that he was born at the age six. what if he comes?”19 The devil did come. even if only metaphorically. He was made such by the circumstances in his unhappy childhood. but based on obedience and competition.man until. It is unconditional love. she says.” Love. 19 Ibid. is the longing for mother’s love. As Bond puts it. Billy suffers both physical and emotional abuse.” “ No. or I’ll send the devil to you. Billy’s mother. 111. Instead of giving him comfort his mother feeds his fears: “Keep your fury. compassion. the constant deprivation of the child’s needs creates an aggressive response on the part of the child. as Fromm points out. I was born aged six with teeth and a black. p. is not egalitarian and unconditional. and took Billy’s soul. Without justice “they are not able to be happy or allow others to be happy. useful – but because I am a mother’s child. indeed. Father’s love. I won’t cry. 1997) p. warmth. gives him a lesson on how to be a good subject to the patriarchal society. The earliest memories that he has are not of a loving and warm family. don’t shut the door. tenderness are considered a sign of weakness. he returns to mother earth. the child soon learns that it is born in an unjust world in which it is often deprived of its physical and emotional needs.”17 In our patriarchal society where feminine values of love. because I am in need of love and protection. what if he comes. 18 Five Kinds of Silence. happiness. I don’t want to see him. mother for him is life. good. we see that Billy was not born evil. Mam. show no feelings and get used to the darkness which is physical in the scene quoted above.

4 12 . Edward Bond unlike Shelagh Stephenson. Lear’s daughters in Bond’s Lear. Left without a father figure and with a mother who fails in her most important role. from forming normal relationships with people and having their own families. The family is completely isolated from the outside world and Billy is able to keep things in “order” by keeping an eye on his wife and daughters who he dresses the same. lawyers and psychiatrists. streams of consciousness and conversations with the policemen. They are still not completely adjusted to the injustice. Such a trivial thing as buttering his toast the wrong way can make him break his daughters’ or wife’s nose. The portrayal of violence in Edward Bond’s plays Lear.subjected takes place here. If they show any traces of compassion. The testimonies of these women show us the horror that Billy put them through. the only place where things seem to be in order and organized and where it seems that nothing can go wrong. are as violent and ruthless as Billy and this is enacted on the stage. it is only in the first scene. (London: The Master Playwrights. 1978) p. He takes sadistic pleasure in imagining killing people. through their soliloquies. They object to their father’s killing of an innocent workman because of the delay in the building of a wall. Billy abuses his wife and daughters physically. He even buys his daughters wedding rings to keep other men away.”20 Bodice and Fontanelle. He even kills a neighbor’s cat and he feels good seeing it squirm and cry. He starts to abuse his daughters sexually when they are thirteen. emotionally and sexually. Billy becomes fascinated by the army. This order becomes his obsession and he becomes increasingly violent. but which divides 20 Edward Bond. In treating the subject. They are prevented from developing their identities. Narrow Road to the Deep North and Saved is somewhat different. It is amazing how Shelagh Stephenson manages to make her play utterly disturbing without using explicit scenes of violence. “Lear. Once he is married. They make the play very personal and touching. confronts the audience with explicit scenes: “I write about violence as naturally as Jane Austen wrote about manners. All these images are horrible and we find about the monstrosities through the eyes of the victims. whose alleged purpose is to protect the people. Any pretext serves Billy to beat his wife and daughters.” Plays: Two. One of the earliest memories his daughter Janet has of him is his smile while watching a gold-fish squirm outside the bowl.

He was the one who crushed their innocence. She remains extremely calm to the end of the scene of brutal torture. The things are so beautiful. 73 13 . After the first scene. I am astonished. and many of them lose their lives building it. Another example of how pedagogical betrayals can harm a child’s psyche and make a monster can be seen in Edward Bond’s Narrow Road to the Deep North in the characters of Shogo and Georgina who have themselves been the victims of the unjust 21Lear. they show no traces of humanity or femininity.them instead. p. In the autopsy scene after the execution of Fontanelle. loveable and loving. Bodice is calmly knitting. Did I make this – and destroy it?21 While in a prison cell. She sleeps inside like a lion and a lamb and a child. They sit with their heads on his knees. how I would have loved her. We see that at some point Lear’s daughters were kind. but the viewers do learn what caused their inhumanity. I have never seen anything so beautiful… Her body was made by the hand of a child. It is their father’s neglect and failure to show them what love is that turned them into monsters. The apparitions of Bodice and Fontanelle are young girls. in Bond’s Lear. We see what it could have been like if they had got the love they needed from their father. Lear realizes that he had his responsibility in the formation of his daughters’ characters and that they were not born evil or meant to be evil. They plot against their husbands and each other and are responsible for the most disturbing scenes in the play. Lear’s daughters Fontanelle and Bodice die without learning anything. Lear asks the Ghost to bring him his daughters. In Shakespeare’s King Lear we are given a hint that Goneril and Regan were not given as much love as Cordelia who was the favorite daughter. . Bond’s Lear is one of the modern versions inspired by Shakespeare. which elaborates further on this idea. love and compassion in them. We have to ask ourselves what made them so violent and cruel. There is no trace of feminine feelings of empathy. She pokes Bodice’s needles into Warrington’s ears. Just like Billy in Five Kinds of Silence. An especially disturbing scene is the one in which Warrington is tortured because of his loyalty to Lear. so sure and nothing unclean… If I had known this beauty and patience and care. While Warrington is being tortured. albeit too late. whereas Fontanelle is sadistically excited. thus deafening him. and he realizes that.

to provide the child with protection.” The irresistible will of heaven is too often used as a justification by religious people who are unwilling or too frightened to try to do something about the status quo. who failed to give him protection and shelter when his poor parents left him by the river. including Basho. love and care needed for normal development. Unlike Lear. They turn into oppressors. schools. He was born into the world that robs its children of their innate rights to justice. once neglected. but he also betrays his role of an artist by withdrawing from the social problems of the world. Unlike blind Lear. becomes a powerful tyrant who rules by atrocity and who is responsible for many violent deaths. Basho in his moral blindness does not even consider this possibility: “O god forgive me!. Shogo is not completely wrong. Bond here reveals the hypocrisy and paradoxes present in those who consider themselves religious. In his search for enlightenment. responsible for two different modes of social violence in the play. Shogo was betrayed as a little baby by a Buddhist priest and a poet. He does not only betray his responsibility as a human being. The first of them. when Shogo. the world that believes in innate evil. who is its perfect representative. weak and unprotected. He regrets that he had not killed it when he had a chance. Basho. Basho never realizes his mistake. water. and considers himself and his arbitrary violence as the lesser of two evils. “a tiger’s mouth”. The consequences of Basho’s failure are seen thirty years later. churches. 14 . He shows how extreme religious dogmas can be in one other scene in which several priests. Nothing is more sacred than human life. would rather let a person die then break “the sacred pot” that is suffocating him. When he learns that Shogo is the baby he had left to die.society and its distorted values. Shogo becomes a perfectionist and prides himself in his city’s drains. hospitals… He believes that the world is evil. Just like Billie in Five Kinds of Silence. love and protection. the world of Basho. he does not regret that he had not protected it. Basho uses it to absolve himself of responsibility that every adult should bear. he ironically fails to show compassion for an innocent baby and attributes all the baby’s suffering to “the irresistible will of heaven. who realizes that his daughters were not born as monsters but were made such.If I had looked in its eyes I would have seen the devil. but Basho fails to realize that.

the Queen. which are often unconscious. as long as his rule is not threatened. “23 Fromm perfectly explains the social function of sexual repression: “ Insofar as sexual pleasure as such is declared to be something sinful. Shogo shows mercy by not killing the young Emperor’s son. Even the murder of a baby can be rationalized. She taught our Prime Minister. 22 23 Edward Bond. The final and the most awful of Shogo’s cruelties is the murder of five innocent children among whom he believes the Emperor’s son is hidden. Kiro.” p. I persuade people. or transferred to different matters. and it is precisely the destiny of this young priest.and I would have put it in the water and held it under with these poet’s hands…”22 Basho’s speech shows the hypocrisy of religion which has too often been put to violent use. and that they have evil thoughts and that they’re greedy and violent and destructive. moral prohibitions always become a source of production of guilt feelings. 208 15 . and everyone else who matters. a “moral” monster who is herself a victim of a poisonous pedagogy: “… So instead of atrocity. They don’t judge you. but he was fortunate enough to be taken by a poor priest who was a beggar. 222 Narrow Road to the Deep North. He is the one who breaks the sacred pot. just like Shogo. The baby did not have the devil in its eyes. Kiro was left as a baby. but the devil did come when the society failed to protect the child.in their heartsthat they are sin. feeling threatened by him. and that sex is nasty and corrupting and must be secret. His lack of formal education also saves him from falling pray to religious dogma. thus saving the life of a young priest whose head had been stuck in it. unlike Shogo. they do what they’re told. that shows what Shogo could have been like if only he had been given love and protection. Kiro. Bond shows that evil is not innate.more than anything else. he sees no other option than to kill him. p. but now. He had spared the child’s life before. The coming of the colonizers is marked by a new form of social violence which is propagated by Georgina. and. I learned this from my Scottish nanny.they feel guilty themselves and accept that you have the right to judge them…. grows up into a calm and grateful person and he stays loyal to Shogo for saving his life even when Shogo is defeated by the English colonizers.that their bodies must be hidden. In spite of all the violence. but nonetheless. “Narrow Road to the Deep North” Plays: Two. When they believe all that. I use morality. the Leader of the Opposition. a much better person than Basho. while sexual desires remain perpetually operative in every human being.

but is too often smothered by social injustice. 35-36. compassion. This frustration causes numbness. madness and violence and creates various kinds of monsters in which Bond’s play Saved abounds.and especially their critical-capacities. and Matriarchy. Sexuality. He describes the crime as something he is proud of. brags about killing a boy with his van and getting away with it.”24 Georgina’s nanny stands for all that is negative about child rearing. She tries to protect the children and goes mad after their murder. shows his belief in human goodness that exists in all people. His story does not appall his friends. even the Leader of the opposition. Pete. Bond had to explain its meaning and its purpose. human bonds. This violence is not necessarily literal. The children are metaphorically murdered all the time by being taught to adjust to the demands of modern capitalist society. People are characterized as innately evil and there is nothing they can do about it except suppress all their needs and feel guilty all the time. Presenting religion in this way leaves no room for the talk of love. The crime against innocence is performed on daily basis. once more. they admire him for what he has done.” Love. who will later take part in the stoning of the baby. And it is social injustice that is responsible for the most controversial scene in all Bond’s plays. What is more. as he points out. Georgina shows that she is capable of human feelings and compassion. The scene. pp. including the baby’s father.the stoning of a baby in a pram by a group of dissatisfied and frustrated young men. which shows how deeply the poisonous pedagogy is rooted in British society. In one of the scenes. and she is mentioned in the play as the nanny of all the important people in Britain. Despite all the wrongdoings. In her character Bond. They eventually cause emotional intimidation. “The Theory of Mother Right and Its Relevance for Social Psychology (1934). limiting people’s intellectual. 16 . Because of the outrage that this scene caused in Britain. while developing an emotional attachment to the representatives of social morality. They account for the fact that suffering is experienced as just punishment for one’s own guilt. 24 Erich Fromm.These guilt feelings are of great social importance. shows a paradigm of violence at whose root is a child. a young man. Georgina uses this to control and rule people. when it is too late. Their individuality is crushed and all the injustice that they are forced to accept makes them frustrated. rather than blamed on the defects of the social organization.

Bond leaves room for the characters to redeem themselves through human bonds. which is itself a product of dehumanizing society. Life goes on as if nothing had happened. the victims of social injustice. which had in previous scenes seemed inevitable. it is misdirected at the weak and the unprotected. What is more. none of the murderers shows any signs of remorse. the family in Saved has not disintegrated completely. p. the only character capable of feeling compassion and love. Trained to obey and not question anything. its subjects never learn to think critically and when the violence bursts out. The social conditions of the working-class world create monsters devoid of any human feelings. emptiness and indifference have reached the point of no return. the young men are sadistically excited while torturing the defenseless baby. It is there to show how ill the society has become.” Plays One.What we see in almost all the characters in Saved is the moral emptiness.” Just as in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. honest work is seen as a saving grace. The most horrible scene of violence in the play is not there only to shock the audience. This is precisely what the ruling-class needs: “… Some of their cries while they murder the baby are ruling-class slogans. The mother pushes the pram without even noticing that the baby is dead. Bond leaves some hope in the last scene where we see Len. and a group of young men. the importance of family is emphasized.”25 When the baby in Saved is dead. And just when it seems that the moral depravity. and the ruling class can recreate in an increasingly inhumane forms the social conditions which it claims as the justification for its power. mending a chair. 15 17 . “Author’s Note. Just like Fontanelle in the scene of Warrington’s torture in Lear. Bond described the last scene as “almost irresponsibly optimistic. a mother who is unable to feel anything for her child and who neglects it in every possible way. We see spouses who do not communicate. instead of being directed at the unjust system which has caused it. who are unable to find any purpose in life and who become beasts. 25 Edward Bond. This is the way in which ruling class anger and aggression can be used to strengthen the unjust social relations that cause its anger and aggression. Despite all the damaging effects of human alienation. as some critics have implied.

Once again.( London: Metheun. and is crying his heart out while raping him. In this play there are scenes of rapes. We learn that the soldier’s girlfriend was cruelly murdered and that all that he is doing is actually an act of revenge. but the fact that it could be anywhere in the world shows the universality of human condition.Bond’s play Saved inspired Sarah Kane to write a play named Blasted. He is not only alienated from the horrible events he describes.” Complete Plays. he keeps telling Cate that he loves her and that he needs her because she is taking him to some better place. in one way or another. Ian. The hidden meaning of violence is revealed in the play in the unrequited desire for love from which even its cruelest characters suffer. He cruelly rapes Cate. responsible for the most horrible scenes in the play is a soldier who comes into the hotel room and rapes Ian and sucks out his eyes. At one point he says that he would be lonely if he killed Ian. even more so. Just like Saved thirty years earlier. a young girl. A hotel room does not provide warmth and belonging of home and it shows the alienation which is experienced. humiliation. eye-gauging. and yet. Sarah Kane places the action in “a very expensive hotel room in Leeds. he is not completely devoid of any feelings. 2001) p. all this violence is not there for the sake of violence. despite his abuse. and then commits suicide. Blasted was misunderstood by many critics. The soldier describes the atrocities he had witnessed and taken part in and he reenacts them in the hotel room. the protagonist. He is a journalist whose reports on horrible violence are devoid of any compassion. who seems to be the only one who cares about him. The violence in Blasted is as brutal as the violence in Saved. They were able to see only the brutality and not its cause and purpose. We learn that he is divorced and that his only son hates him. “Blasted. the violence caused by injustice is misdirected at the weak and the unprotected. by all the characters in Blasted. cannibalism. Once again. 26 Sarah Kane. is a racist.”26 The location is precise. just like in Bond’s Saved. What happened to his girlfriend turned him into a beast. And yet. a misogynist and a homophobe. but also from his own family.the kind that is so expensive it could be anywhere in the world. Another character. 35 18 .

Cate returns to the room with the food that she got by letting the soldiers rape her. This happens to Pavlo Hummel in David Rabe’s play The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel as well as to Mark 27 28 Five Kinds of Silence.113 See Lionel Trilling. She shares this food with Ian. I’m beside myself with longing. I like the sound they make on the cobbles. What is common to Sarah Kane. harsh and strong. There is no easy way out. the rows of bunks.28 This outward neatness of the army barracks at home presents young men. 82 19 . the neatness of it. corners neat and parceled.” ***. Then. I like the shine on their boots. the last scene of Blasted leaves some hope. it sets my teeth tingling. it starts to rain and Ian is brought back to life. The play closes with Ian’s: “Thank you. Ian. Each bed tight made. They all show its causes and consequences and thus make the audience aware that all this violence is not natural. usually from underprivileged backgrounds. the order. with an idealized picture of the army thus seducing them to join it.After all the horror. Already I’m hooked. there’s method in this. eats a dead baby and ultimately dies with relief. “On the Teaching of Modern Literature. Edward Bond and Shelagh Stephenson is that they are not interested in violence for the sake of violence.”27 In one of Billy’s flashbacks to childhood we find out about his fascination with the army. p. Lear and Five Kinds of Silence we see how crushed innocence and silenced cry for justice create monsters. p. ironically. I follow them to their barracks. He does not see that this order is achieved at the cost of extravagant personal repression. War as Institutionalized Violence “Billy: Our town is full of soldiers. Identity: Introducing XX Century Literary Theory. oh. We see how the army can seduce a young and insecure boy who feels the need to belong and to see himself as a part of an organization where everything seems to be in order. Narrow Road to the Deep North. belted and tucked and ready for action. no mistakes. This ultimate act of kindness after all the horror that both Cate and Ian have experienced leaves some hope for humanity. Death seems to be the best thing that could have happened to him. There’s a war on. blind and reduced to an animal. Culture.” Literature. They are polished and trim and neat these men. no gaps. but a product of the deep malady of modern patriarchal society with its distorted values. In Blasted. as Trilling would put it.

we learn about his training and his experiences in the Vietnam War. Mark returns home traumatized. Pavlo. Before he dies. The reason for Pavlo’s failure to be accepted in such a company lies in the fact that others can sense that he does not have the right temperament to be made into a killing machine. no matter how hard he tries. He tries to suppress his individuality and present himself as a tough-guy. His transformation into a soldier without individuality is seen at the end of Act one. who was annoyed because Pavlo had interfered with his seduction of a local prostitute.a perfect killing machine. which in the domination-driven patriarchal capitalist society means. symbolizing Pavlo’s tendency towards unthinking obedience. but they both soon learn about the brutality of the army and that there is nothing noble or heroic about war. His name. We see how this is implanted in their brains through the training chants that they are ordered to recite while marching. through a series of flashbacks. While Pavlo Hummel dies in war. The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel begins at the chronological end of the story with Pavlo’s holding a grenade which has been thrown into a Vietnamese bar. This makes him a potentially good soldier. Pavlo’s socially conditioned tendency to obey is contrasted with his natural feminine side that he has been trying to suppress and hide all his life. During the training he is made fun of and he even attempts suicide as a way out. he cannot completely fit in with other soldiers undergoing the training with him.in Emily Mann’s Still Life. the symbol of his new identity. We see that the soldiers are not motivated by any noble calling. fitting in with 20 . The purpose of training is to validate extreme violence. However. In the character of Pavlo we see what ideology and false ideals can do to a young person. They are ironically called “the echo company” since they repeat what they hear without any questioning. David Rabe uses the example of the basic training for soldiers to show how brain-washing mechanisms in capitalist societies function. bringing the brutality with him. racism and obedience. There is no noble death. stupidity. We find out that the grenade that killed him had not come from the ‘enemy’ but from a jealous American soldier. His death is ironic. brings to mind Ivan Pavlov and his classical conditioning experiment. but with whom he tries to identify nevertheless. sexism. when he is given a clean uniform. However. which is partly his mother’s responsibility: she is the one who tells him unrealistic stories about his father. whom he never met.

p. They are shown the techniques of coercion and acquiescence that their society utilizes to create obedient subjects.”32 Even if Pavlo does not get the real insight. Ibid. 29 David Rabe. Gen’lmen.. while other soldiers are practicing handling their rifles. but real insight never comes. 95 30 31 32 Ibid. fool!”30 Pavlo is 31 unable to cope with this truth: “What? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” As Rabe in the Author’s Note writes: “His physical efficiency. like it you pecker and you love to make love. Pavlo cannot conform to this. why or even where. you hit into your own head. what do it want and need.other soldiers. He does not want to have anything with any other prostitute. He tries to make Pavlo see the suffering that both sides in war experience and that whatever he does to “the Other” the damage will be mutual: “When you shot into his head. ( New York: Laurel.31 21 . he retains his sensitive side. Ardell is the one who helps Pavlo understand how lost he is and how wrong he had been about believing in the great causes that his society presents him with. the people in the audience do. He loses his virginity to Yen. His talent is for leaping into the fire. a black solder who is a projection of Pavlo’s inner and wiser self.” Famous American Plays of the 1970s. but he will learn only that he is lost. We see to what extent the patriarchal society distorts human bonds and human nature. he even kills a defenseless Vietnamese farmer. which should make them better equipped to refuse and resist when the same manipulation is tried on them. p. shows how different he is from others. TOWER: You got to love this rifle. even his mental efficiency increases. 108 Ibid. Yen. Once in war. 1981) p. Despite all this. You got to care about how it is and what can it do and what can it not do. only if they are willing to open their eyes and their minds. which is in the play represented by Ardell.”29 Treating a gun as a woman shows the position assigned to women in patriarchal society. Rabe places Pavlo’s initiation into manhood in juxtaposition with other soldiers’. The soldiers are taught to treat their guns as women and treat their enemies as less than human: “SGT. For him Yen is not an object which is easily replaceable. not how. Toughness and cynicism replace open eagerness. They are treated as objects. ” The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. Pavlo does not lose his voice of reason. which ultimately costs him his life. Pavlo’s attachment to a local prostitute.

She uses the experience of an ex-marine who fought and killed in Vietnam. Pam’s father. What makes Mann’s play even more disturbing is that it talks of real people describing actual events. Web. who lost a child in the bombing of London during World War II. The key to success of war ideologies lies in their power to convince men who go to war that what they are doing is important for the whole society and that it makes them special. which makes it difficult for the audience to decide how to take them. The patriarchal society demands of its men to prove themselves by fighting for their country in unjust wars fought for power and domination. Just like Pavlo Hummel. Mark goes to war because of his false image of what war and army are about. Mann says that the play is a “documentary” because it is a distillation of interviews. but this war is not its main concern. The play does deal with the Vietnam War. They make us look and see things in a new way. 16 Dec. Brutal. This ideology is ever present.” Americanrethoric. As Rabe puts it himself. “Beoynd Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. when he said: “The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. They are ambiguous ideologically. indifferent. Harold Pinter explains perfectly how this system functions in his Nobel Lecture: “I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. 22 . 2010. his plays are not blatantly anti-war and they’re certainly not for it. The main concern of the play is to show the illness of the society that makes wars possible in the first place. because he did not have a chance to fight in World War II and to kill people. Its goal is to examine the operation of violence in American culture. 'the American people'. but she does not describe her play as a play about Vietnam. as in the sentence. Marthin Luther King expressed the same idea in Beoynd Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. The same is true of Emily Mann’s Still Life. scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. It is ironic that fighting in a war should be glorified by Harry.”33 Mann examines Mark’s memories of Vietnam War together with domestic violence that goes on at home. Len. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words.Plays such as The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel do not let the audience just sit back and relax. Bond in his play Saved touches upon this subject. who is the only character in the play capable of human feelings and compassion. 'I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American 33 Martin Luther King. It's a winner. is characterized as weak by Harry. despite the fact that his play does not deal with war.com.

. 227 36 37 Ibid.”35 We see how Mark was influenced by the patriarchal ideology: “My biggest question to myself all my life was how I would act under combat. “Still Life. You know… The point is. We find out that Mark enjoyed the killing and the sense of power that it gave him. That would be who I was as a man. as Mark explains:”It was beautiful… You were given all this power to work outside the law. Once such restraints are removed. It makes you fit to kill.”38 This madness of the soul is not a product of innate forces that operate in men. 237 39 Ibid. And our training was really hard.”34 Mark says at one point:” There was this whole trip that we were really special. 220 Ibid.”39 Nadine is very critical of her own culture and she is not afraid to talk about it.. Nadine. Through the centuries of repression of the creative instincts inside them and the centuries of poisonous pedagogy the patriarchal society’s subjects’ soul goes mad. like this whole Spartan attitude. you don’t need to go through it.”36 But he learns that there is nothing glorious.people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people. p. we see the madness. She fails to be scandalized by Mark’s horrible stories of what happened in Vietnam because it is something that has been present in the American culture for a long time:”Leading a 34 35 Art. p. Mark’s lover. I would break both my son’s legs before I let him go through it.. Those commandments…Take an infant and start him out on the whole world with THOU SHALT NOT… and you’re perpetually in a state of guilt or a state of revolt. but it is kept under control by laws at home. heroic or noble about war and thus makes a reference to Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms: “I read my Hemingway. p. for Mark violence felt better than sex.”37 Through Mark’s story we gradually find out about the atrocities that men from patriarchal society can do once there are no outer restraints of law and order that operate at home. Unlike for Pavlo.” Testimonies. 38 Ibid. rightly observes:”You know why they went crazy out there? It’s that totally negative religion. 1997) p. Truth and Politics Emily Mann. It is the product of the distorted values of patriarchal society and the upbringing of children. The madness of the soul that Conrad is writing about in The Heart of Darkness is demonstrated here as well. 240 23 . Four Plays ( New York: Theatre Communications Group.

That’s not uncommon in our culture. He killed three innocent children in Vietnam and he knows that this cannot be justified. is responsible for the death of three innocent children. In his Discourse on Colonialism he writes how Europeans are appalled by what Hitler did. failing to realize that they themselves were the accomplices of Nazism long before they became its victims and that they tolerated it while it was applied to non-European people. p. His photographs bring to mind Eugene Dawn. a specialist for psychological warfare.. The proof is in front of their eyes. Mark sent them the pictures of dead men. p. knows about the atrocities. It’s the same thing. but they are ashamed. While in war. although deep down they know. vandalism. She knows that her husband. They know how wrong it had been to raise their son to believe in all the clichés which sent him into slaughter for all the wrong reasons. but she tries to forget everything. 223 Ibid.. So I don’t think about it much. It’s no different than what Nazis did. but I know it’s the same damn thing as lining Jews up.. Mark desperately needs someone to talk to but his parents are not ready to bring up a bad subject and therefore they never ask him what happened. 219 42 Ibid. that if he rails against him. 270 24 .”41 Mark’s parents know too. he has a Hitler inside him. …very Christian bourgeois of the twentieth century that without his being aware of it. who abuses her. he is 40 41 Ibid.whole group into group sex. that Hitler is his demon. I suppose I could find a rationalization. Cesaire was not afraid to put the blame for atrocities committed in the name of ‘humanity’ where it belongs. but tries not to think about it: “ If I thought about this too much I’d go crazy.”40 Nobody except her is ready to listen or talk about all these horrible things. “My son…my son wouldn’t know the difference between a VC and a marine. from Coetzee’s Dusklands. theft. whose barbarism according to him surpasses that of Western Europe. that Hitler inhabits him. The children were so little. Mark does not know how to deal with his anger and guilt.”42 Mark’s words bring to mind Aime Cesaire who saw through the hypocrisy of Europe and of the USA too. They never take the responsibility. p. All that a person can do is try and find words to try and excuse me. who also carries with him the photographs depicting the torture of Vietnamese people by American soldiers. he even sent a bone of a man he had killed. Both men and their families suffer terrible consequences because of their involvement in the war. Cheryl. Mark’s wife. I’m not too good with the past. He keeps the artifacts of war in the jars in his basement.

I never saw this. the crime against man. because they tried to approach the soldiers. The VC would send the kids in with a flag. it is not the humiliation of man as such. There is an example in Mark’s recollection: “Everybody hated them. It was said that the soldier was very smart to shoot because he knew Vietnamese were carrying invisible bombs under their clothes. starting with the Holocaust and ending with the invasion of Gaza. the humiliation of the white man. Hamas rocket attacks and finally. You couldn’t trust ’em. Discourse on Colonialism. I heard about it. the building of the West Bank barrier. the death of Rachel Corrie who was killed by a bulldozer while trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition. and the fact that he applied to Europe colonialist procedures which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs of Algeria. The soldiers are fed stories in which Vietnamese are demonized and thus the crimes of the Americans are justified. This kind of poisonous pedagogy is what Caryl Churchill’s play Seven Jewish Children shows. 243 25 .”44 The key words here are: “I never saw this.43 Dehumanizing the Other – Dehumanizing the Self Mark’s murder of innocent Vietnamese children is rationalized by the States and the same happens in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel where a story is told of the murder of an old man and a little child in Vietnam. children of the patriarchal capitalist society are taught to believe in what they hear.being inconsistent and that. the dispute over water. There are references to some horrible events in the history of Israel such as: the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The most horrible crime is rationalized. try to be your friend. grandparents. it is the crime against the white man. rather than what they see for themselves. 2000) p. the coolies of India. 3 Still Life.” From very early childhood. the kid would come in asking for C-rations. and they’d be maybe wired with explosives or something and the kid’d blow up. the bombing of Gaza. A soldier shoots them and instead of being punished he is praised. uncles and aunts discussing what their children should be told about the recent events in Jewish history. and the blacks of Africa. the dispute over water. what he cannot forgive Hitler for is not crime in itself. 43 44 Aime Cesaire. p. The play was written in response to the events in Gaza in 2008 and 2009 and shows the Israeli parents. at bottom. I heard about it. There were obviously no bombs but the truth is not important in war. (New York: Monthly Preview Press. the death of a Palestinian boy who was killed by soldiers in the crossfire.

“Don’t tell her” are repeated throughout the play.makes all this easier: ” Tell her they don’t understand anything except violence… Tell her they did it to themselves. the poisonous pedagogy becomes more and more dangerous. The phrases “Tell her”.’” josephshahadi. as the time passes. 2009. 48 Seven Jewish Children 26 .” Graphics8. 2011. 11 Nov.As Churchill explains in stage directions. Tell her they want their children killed to make people sorry for them.nytimes.” They do not teach children that there are alternatives to war: “Don’t tell her her cousin refused to serve in the army…. French colonizers fool themselves that they are in Algeria to bring the natives enlightenment and to ‘save them from themselves. Web. but as the years pass the truths that are being withheld or revealed are more and more horrible.com. Churchill had to defend the play: “ The character is not ‘rejoicing in the murder of little children’. He sees dead children on television and feels numb and defiant in his relief that his own child is safe. 2011. as the time and the child are different. as well. the characters in each of the seven scenes are different. Tell her. Dehumanizing the Other – the Palestinians. He believes that what has happened is justified as self-defense. It 45 Caryl Churchill. intercepted from time to time by “don’t frighten her.’ This ideology of lies gives them an alibi for their continued occupation and aggression. We see how.nytimes.”48 The dehumanization of ‘the Other’ takes place in Churchill’s The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution. 24 Feb.”46 The critics attacked Churchill saying that she demonized the Israeli by showing them as monsters who kill babies. One sentence in particular that turned out to be the most controversial: ”… tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel? Tell her all I feel is happy it’s not her. tell her to be proud of the army.” Actually. after each “tell her” or “don’t tell her” usually follows “don’t tell her anything” and after describing the Palestinian attacks they say “don’t frighten her.”45 Churchill’s play was attacked as being anti-Semitic. “Caryl Churchill Responds to Criticism of ‘Seven Jewish Children. they convince themselves that the horrors that are committed are necessary for their safety.pdf> 11 Nov. tell her about the army. when discussing whether to tell the child about their own crimes.com. “Seven Jewish Children. 46 47 Ibid.com/packages/pdf/world/SevenJewishChildren. <http://graphics8.”47 The grown ups try to protect their children. Those who should teach children right from wrong seem to be confused which is which. As their history gets bloodier.

" artisans. priests. “The villainy that you teach me. My turn to state an equation: colonization = "thing-ification. rape. degraded masses. Frantz 49 Caryl Churchill. conflict. It is this result. accustoms himself to treating him like an animal. the shallowness of emotional effect. Cesaire exposes all their hypocrisy: “Security? Culture? The rule of law? In the meantime. unused to critical thinking. I see force. This nonsense is reproduced in several medicine books as a fact. self-complacency. “The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution. taxation.”49 This strategy of dehumanizing the Other inevitably leads to the dehumanization of the colonizers themselves: “The colonizer. contempt. and. who in order to ease his conscience gets into the habit of seeing the other man as an animal. and it will go hard but I will better the instruction. a prison guard. and this is enough for a subject of the patriarchal capitalist society. brutality. 50 51 Discourse on Colonialism Ibid. He says that since the African doesn’t use his frontal lobes it is just as if they have been removed so that the African is like lobotomized European. theft. the police. which makes them incapable of morality. who brought them progress. a slave driver. and interpreters necessary for the smooth operation of business…. the scientific explanation for this is that they do not use the frontal lobes of their brain.Between colonizer and colonized there is room only for forced labor. This is one of the innumerable examples of the misuse of science to justify European racism. swinishness. sadism. pressure. the hasty manufacture of a few thousand subordinate functionaries. There is a young white doctor in Churchill’s play who supports this idea: “DOCTOR: You must know the work of Doctor Carruthers of the World Health Organization.” Short Plays ( London: Nick Hern. and tends objectively to transform himself into an animal. cruelty.The African character. and the indigenous man into an instrument of production. compulsory crops. an army sergeant. I will execute. but relations of domination and submission which turn the colonizing man into a class-room monitor. "boys. intimidation.”50 Aime Cesaire gives numerous examples of European philosophers. to take it for granted. 1993) p. the laziness. As Shylock would say. in a parody of education.” In his Wretched of the Earth in the chapter Concerning Violence. It accounts for the impulsive aggression. mistrust."51 What Europeans refuse to see is that the violence that the Algerians exhibit is something that they have learned from the colonizers. 119. doctors and various ‘humanists’ who published texts where they claimed that the indigenous people of the colonies were inferior and needed guidance and help by Europeans.goes so far that the natives in Algeria are described as innately violent. 27 . I look around and wherever there are colonizers and colonized face to face. this boomerang effect of colonization that I wanted to point out. arrogance. No human contact. cured diseases and ‘civilized’ them. the inability to grasp a whole concept . office clerks. brainless elites.

a frenzied determination to deny the other any attribute of humanity. the mental and behavioral disorders emerging from this war. have loomed so large among the perpetrators of “pacification” and the “pacified” population.and in any case there’s always a risk that innocent people will be killed and I do accept that now. The natives who use violence often resort to the European technique of dehumanizing and demonizing the Other.Fanon elaborates on this idea. He ultimately attempts suicide and ends up in the psychiatric ward together with two other native patients. he notes how all this violence contributes to mental disorders: “We had no control over the fact that the psychiatric phenomena. who are also the victims of colonization. in Bond’s Lear. However. p. This traumatic 52 Frantz Fanon. 181-182. 127 28 . who has killed many people by planting bombs in the places where French people go. 53 The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution.” Colonial War and Mental Disorders. in this case the settlers. Since 1954 we have drawn the attention of French and international psychiatrists in scientific works to the difficulty of “curing” a colonized subject correctly. but that does not take away his sense of guilt. colonialism forces the colonized to constantly ask the question: ’Who am I in reality?’ ”52 Inspired by the examples given in Fanon’s book Churchill shows revolutionaries in the psychiatric ward of the hospital whose psyche has been destroyed by the war. This sets off his conscience. There is in Churchill’s play Patient A.”53 His conscience is not put to sleep. the wife of the Gravedigger’s boy. Cordelia is cruelly raped by the soldiers who kill her husband in front of her eyes. He cannot sleep and cannot stop thinking about what he has done.” The Wretched of the Earth ( New York: Grove Press) pp. But getting rid of one’s conscience is not as easy. Because it is a systematized negation of the other. He is very radical and he sees violence as the only way in which decolonization can be achieved. in other words making him thoroughly fit into a social environment of a colonial type. a revolutionary native. He tries to rationalize: “I knew it wasn’t at all likely I’d killed someone like that because the bar where I left the bomb was a well-known meeting place for the most reactionary. He sees these violent acts as his way of contributing to decolonization. Patient A accounts of an event when he was about to plant a bomb in a French bar and bumped into a young Frenchmen who smiled and apologized. How a victim of the oppression becomes the oppressor is found in the character of Cordelia.

Like it never happened. Once in power. that’s your job… Proving it happened. The victims become the oppressors. 57 29 . shows how easy it is for the emotionally deprived human being to commit horrible crimes once the constraints of the law at home are removed. Instead of going beyond the assigned roles. they just switch them. Stories. got no choice. She is the one who continues the building of Lear’s wall at the cost of the lives of people building it. But most often the patriarchal ideology makes it difficult to escape false polarities. he cannot live with that. The soldier in Blasted says: “At home I’m clean. The truth is ignored by everyone else. just like Mark in Still Life. She is the one who has a captured soldier who wants to join her forces shot because he does not hate. This 54 55 Lear. I’m here. those who send soldiers to war rationalize or conceal the crimes. You should be telling people. That’s all.experience fills her with tremendous anger and she leads a rebellion against Bodice and Fontanelle. A rebellion against the oppressors should bring a change for the better. the soldier in Sarah Kane’s Blasted turns into a monster because of the brutal murder of the person he loved. but the indifference towards the cruelties of war is equally disturbing. This revenge does not bring a change. Act 2. Just like Cordelia.“ Just like Mark. Instead of becoming a revolutionary after what he has suffered he is only driven by revenge. But you. just like Bond’s Cordelia and Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. He implores Ian to tell the world what happened: “Some journalist. and the soldier. Cordelia becomes as cruel as those she fought against. The soldier’s descriptions of what he has seen and done in war are horrible beyond words. p. “To fight like us you must hate.”55 Ian’s answer to the soldier’s plea perfectly sums up the role of the media in contemporary society: “No one’s interested… I write… stories. we can’t trust a man unless he hates. thus enabling the people who have not experienced the horror to believe that it never happened. teaches them hate and violence. What is more. Scene 3 Blasted. and the oppressed cannot see another alternative except turning into the oppressors. The tragic mistake here is that justice is equated with revenge. it just redistributes the roles.”54 This line shows that even Cordelia in Bond’s Lear could not escape being sucked into the ideology of the patriarchal society that suffocates the innate goodness of people and instead of teaching them love. She is the one who orders the executions of Fontanelle and Bodice.

“Breaking the Great Australian Silence. Churchill’s and Kane’s plays show us how damaging for the human psyche war ideologies can be. It is happening on the streets outside the hotel and inside as well. see and hear: on how we should define our politics and view the rest of the world. what outraged the critics and the audience most were not the horrible scenes of violence as they wanted to believe. Journalists know not what to do. or it becomes uglier than it is.” In fact.” Enpassant. This is actually a brilliant system. The audience is thus unexpectedly sucked into the nightmarish world of cruelty. Like border protection. reminiscent of the civil war in Bosnia. sexual sadism and cannibalism. look at the news on TV. the room is destroyed by a mortar bomb and we learn that there is a civil war outside. Web.” All the negative criticism that followed the play’s first production perfectly demonstrates what Ian is talking about in the play: “This isn’t a story anyone wants to hear. since the war in the play is no longer just a foreign affair. The play was described as a “disgusting feast of filth. This excuse is ironic. Mann’s.”56 John Pilger explains the role of the media in keeping the status quo: “Turn the pages of the major newspapers. which managed to blast them out of their comfort zone. Don’t pretend that it’s good.” Rabe’s. Pilger. David Rabe summarizes all their falsity by saying: “You can do what you want about the war.com. but to make them think and react.isn’t a story anyone wants to hear. we have mind protection. that is. It was Kane’s violation of the unity of place.au.”57 Ian finds an excuse for himself by claiming that he does not cover foreign affairs. But don’t lie about it. no self-censorship. In the middle of the play a soldier breaks in.” which is very brave. The play starts in a hotel room in Leeds where we see violence that happens behind the closed door. violence and injustice. Kane shows the audience that no one is safe and that there are no “foreign affairs” when it comes to war. requiring no instructions. Most of the kids didn’t know 56 57 Ibid. All this is not done only to shock the audience. John. Nov. as Sarah Kane explained: “What I can do is put people through an intense experience. She confronts the audience with the truth they do not want to see. 2009. 3 Jan 2012. There’s a consensus on what we read. Don’t pretend it’s heroic. Don’t pretend that everybody who goes there is a monster or a hero. Invisible boundaries keep out facts and opinion that are unacceptable. 30 . By writing this play Sarah Kane does what Ian fails to do. with what Bond calls “the implacable. Maybe in a small way from that you can change things.

avoided by the journalists such as Ian. The destructive influence of “daddy” is seen in Stephenson’s Five Kinds of Silence.” Break. to show the horrors and the hypocrisy behind war ideologies.anything about what was going on. Daddy. Blow. Her soul remains tortured by the love-hate relationship with her father’s image. 2005). Churchill’s The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution and Cloud Nine as well as in Mann’s Still Life. In Their Own Words: Contemporary American Playwrights (New York: Theatre Communications Group ) p. a devil and a vampire. “Peacetime” Victims . but fails: ”But they pulled me out of the sack. the one in the play is physical and sexual as well. Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.Living in the Shadow of the Father “You do not do. In an attempt to reconnect with her father in death the persona attempts suicide at the age of twenty.” She is aware that she can never fully recover. Many parallels can be drawn between Five Kinds of Silence and Sylvia Plath’s poem Daddy. poor and white. Perhaps the greatest similarity between Plath’s poem and Stephenson’s play is found in examining the similarities between the 58 David Savran. who has very many similarities with Sylvia Plath. 204 59 Sylvia Plath. While the abuse in the poem is emotional. Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World’s Best Poems./And they stuck me together with glue. 164 31 . “Daddy. (New York: Pantheon Books. just like Plath.” to utter disappointment in which daddy is compared to a Nazi. Plath’s father died when she was young and she did not have a chance to resolve her troubled relationship with him. you do not do Any more.”58 The playwrights mentioned here take the responsibility. “a bag full of God. failed to give her love and of whom she was afraid. In the poem we see the transition from seeing the father as perfect. is an angry poem whose persona. tries to purge herself from the influence of her father who neglected her. p.”59 Sylvia Plath’s poem. black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years. They both show us the victims of abuse and the terrible consequences that this abuse leaves on their psyche.

107 Ibid. In an allegory in which she drives the stake through her father’s heart Plath’s persona symbolically kills her husband as well. Once they form their own families. In both Five Kinds of Silence and Daddy we see a similar pattern of behavior repeated by abused women. since these are only models of behavior that they know of. After loosing her mother at the age of six. I will save you. and I recognized you. The masochism that both women exhibit is described by Sylvia Plath: “Every woman adores a Fascist. This self-destructive tendency is what attracts her to Billy. but also the troubled husband-wife relationship. The persona in Daddy attempts suicide at the age of twenty. p.”61 Both women try to find a way out. Billy’s wife. you handed me a port and lemon. I won’t have that. which happens to Billy or staying the victims. Plath’s persona finds a husband who resembles her father and who will neglect her in the same way: “I made a model of you. I do. p. 32 . Both women are neglected by their fathers. I will. but there’s drink and a great sadness and I’m so small I can’t help.” Mary as well makes a tragic mistake by thinking that by repeating the pattern and being with the abuser she could change him and give a different outcome to her life. 60 61 Five Kinds of Silence. Oh. which happens to Mary and Plath’s persona. and I love him so hard my chest hurts. Mary starts cutting herself at an early age. 118. It’s not his fault.. But his alcoholism prevents him from giving her any attention. / A man in black with a Meinkampf look/ And a love of the rack and the screw.” Mary knows from the start that Billy is troubled and instead of running away she feels the need to save him:”When you walked into that dance hall. Feeling lonely and with no one to talk to.persona in Daddy and Mary. as if I’d known you all my life. Just like Plath’s persona. my dad loves me. Mary tries to find comfort in her father’s love. in many cases the abused children repeat the pattern by either becoming the abusers. I looked into your eyes and my heart welled up.”60 This frustration makes both women self-destructive. nobody… It’s not his fault. That is the only thing that makes her feel real and alive and it makes her feel good. I will save you. Mary is completely torn between love for her father and anger because she feels neglected and lonely: “Every night I come home. They both depict not only the troubled fatherdaughter relationship. As the play develops we find out about Mary’s relationship with her father. / And I said I do.

She seems more successful in her endeavor than Mary. I have had to kill you. Paralyzed by fear for her and her daughters’ lives Mary does not manage to do anything about the abuse in the family. Billy stays on the stage after he has been murdered and he continues to haunt his wife and daughters in their painful memories and dreams. she does nothing to prevent her husband from sexually abusing their daughters. they dance in your head. Mary seems passive and reconciled to her and her daughters’ destiny and apparently. They are completely subjected to Billy. in the course of the play we find out that she did try to escape from Billy once and went to her father. it is doubtful 62 63 Ibid. Marriage is for life. After all the abuse. He starts sexually abusing them at the age of thirteen. as well. Now lie in it. p. Up to the point when they kill Billy.” ‘Daddy’ is murdered in Plath’s poem as well.Earlier in the poem. however. 114. even if only metaphorically: ““Daddy. Billy broke her ribs and ensured that she would never try to escape again. but he failed to give her shelter and sent her back to her hell: “You made your bed. It suggests her submissive and dependant position. p. and the ‘owner’ has the right to do with her whatever he wants. Marriage is a sacrament. The same can be said of Janet and Susan. She is treated as an object. The dead don’t die. 110 33 . However. at the time when they decide to set themselves free by murdering their father.. they come to you at night. which is the age of Janet and Susan. although she claims otherwise. I know that now. The use of the word “daddy” and childish language in Plath’s poem suggests that in relation to her father the persona cannot feel as an adult who has control over her life. Mum. /You died before I had time…” This liberation from the father’s shadow seems unconvincing since there is too much love and anger in the poem which indicates that the persona can never be through. Ibid. Although in their thirties.. Janet and Susan in the first scene of the play: “We had to kill him.”63 When she decides to get free from the memory of her father. In the same way. Janet and Susan have never had boyfriends. these women are prevented from fully developing into normal adults. After that. Billy is murdered by his daughters. the persona in Sylvia Plath’s poem is in her thirties. Their case is even more disturbing. At one point Janet says: “You think he’s gone now he’s dead. But the dead don’t go anywhere. a possession. she describes them both as vampires sucking her blood.”62 We see here how a woman is trapped by her traditional role of a wife in the patriarchal society.

Susan remembers how their father sometimes kissed them in the street. Janet feels ashamed. p. 64 65 Ibid. which is really funny when you think about it because a remand centre is actually a sort of prison. Five kinds of silence. 34 . Each of ours and the world outside.. 108.” to convey her sense of entrapment. it is once they are arrested after the murder of their father that they start to feel free for the first time in their lives:”This is the first time we’ve been free in the whole of our lives. isn’t it?”65 Another character from contemporary Anglo-American drama who feels trapped is Francoise from Caryl Churchill’s The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution. it is the psychiatrists who fail to perceive it. the message that should tell the observers that this is not real. Janet looks at the family photographs where they are all smiling. her mother and herself. but it is those in charge of mental health that should be ashamed.”64 Both the daughter in Daddy and daughters in Five Kinds of Silence feel trapped. but they kept quiet and their silence is what makes the play most disturbing: “All that silence. The bruises under their clothes cannot be seen. Ironically. Janet and Susan are tormented because they did not manage to save themselves from the abuse even though they feel they had a chance. They saw ‘the sign’ that should have told them that something about this family was horribly wrong. These women are burdened by an unjustified guilt because they feel that they should have done something about their mistreatment earlier. She suffers from clinical depression and visits psychiatrists. Ibid. They keep asking questions instead of trying to read Janet’s silence.’ and there was no one to say anything. People were nearby while this happened. It is not she who fails to give the sign. who ask her questions that she dares not answer for the fear that Billy would kill her sister. All their actions are controlled by Billy. Janet and Susan have spent all their lives trapped. 132. people they knew.that they will ever be able to form normal relationships and find fulfillment as adult women.. no one to protest. Even more horrible is Susan’s testimony. but she only sees the smiles and that devastates her. We see to what extent people in contemporary society are adjusted to injustice and isolated from each other. She tries to find a sign in her eye. ‘not a father’s kiss. Sylvia Plath uses the metaphor of the black shoe in which she has lived “For thirty years. poor and white. Plath’s persona tries to reconnect with her father by attempting suicide.

Nothing at all. What her father calls a “perfect little life” is a horrible nightmare from which she is unable to awaken. Her mother who is in complete accord with the values of the patriarchal society at one point says: “…it just never occurred to Francoise to be anything I didn’t want. her little bird in a cage. As a French officer in Algeria he is responsible for the interrogation of the revolutionaries which involves torture.”67 “The happiness” 66 67 The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution. But there is no one to listen. Just like daughters in Five Kinds of Silence. The father expects his daughter’s obedience and thankfulness. her school. In their denial her parents discard her claims as fancies of an insane person and expect her to acquiesce to the kind of life they impose on her: “…this is a difficult time for everyone but Francoise has experienced none of it. always pretty and smiling and liking to be with her mummy and daddy and what made us happy. compassion and conscience to be put to sleep. Francoise is able to perceive this hypocrisy of the ‘peace and order’ that her father is trying to maintain and she cannot be thankful for it. Her quiet life goes on as if it were somewhere else. If I think of her at three or eight or thirteen it’s just the same.. The only thing that matters is preserving the order which is in patriarchal society most often achieved through oppression. She is in her teenage years and her parents separate her from her boyfriend because of his progressive ideas. She is the only one in the family who perceives the horror of colonization. She rebels against this ‘perfect’ life that her “daddy” protects by using horrible violence. And does she ever say thank you?”66 In the words of Francoise’s father we see how denial operates and how submitting to the values of patriarchal society smothers any possibility of a loving father-child relationship. p.Once again we see the emotional abuse of the patriarchal father figure who neglects his daughter’s need for love. Francoise is not allowed to fully grow up and she rebels against that. and instead imposes on her a kind of life that is unbearable.” With her sensibility of a person who has not allowed for her innate feelings of love. her dresses. He brings his work home and Francoise is able to hear the screams at night. everything we do to protect that perfect life she is lucky enough to lead. 102 35 . it simply didn’t arise. p. She feels like “her little bird in a cage. They would do anything to protect her perfect little world in which she will always be their little girl unaware of the monstrosities that are happening in the world around her. she is the one who suffers the most. affection and freedom. Unlike her mother she refuses to keep her eyes and her mouth shut. 103 Ibid. She takes it all.

146 36 . With the knowledge and the insight she possesses she cannot become who she is expected to be and she is not allowed to stay true to herself. She is the one who urges Francoise to assume the traditional role assigned to girls and women in the patriarchal society and discard the part of her personality that is rebellious. Its symptoms are meaningful. This is seen not only in the dialogues. The dress is walking about with no one inside it. that asks questions and perceives the hypocrisy around her. a son is played by a woman. Francoise: The dress looked very pretty but underneath I was rotting away. If we see the dress as a symbol of everything that is bad about the colonial society. One of them is her naked appearance in a roomful of guests. This pushes her into madness. When we think of it like that.68 Interpreted literally this statement may seem as an outburst of a disturbed girl who in her schizophrenic fancy imagines that everyone wants to kill her and that the dress her mother made for her is poisonous. but also symbolically. My mother made that dress to kill me. contribute to the family members’ identity crisis and confusion in her play Cloud Nine. then we start to see the bigger picture. becomes her only defense against the horror she experiences. set in Africa. thus. p. a wife is played by a man. Madness. believing it to be a visible symbol of the false identity beneath which her true self was withering away. She has cut to peaces the dress her mother wants her to wear.bought at the expense of ruining other people’s freedom and happiness is something that Francoise cannot accept. a daughter by a dummy and a black servant by a white man. This would mean a soul-murder. Very soon in the play we 68 Ibid. Under the dress I can’t find where I am. They can’t see Francoise because she was taken off upstairs and nobody came downstairs and into the room. Bit by bit I was disappearing. This dress then becomes a burden for Francoise because by wearing it she is expected to assume the role of a good subject to the colonial society and to acquiesce to its wrong-doings. but also in the cast. It ate me away. Her referring to herself in the first and the third person here indicates her loss of the unified identity. promoted by an oppressive father. Francoise’s statement that the dress was made to kill her does not seem delusional anymore. Such interpretation would rob the play of its significance. In Act 1. I undo the buttons and put my hand in. Churchill is even more radical in showing how the values of colonial society. That was a poison dress I put on. It is her mother that makes the ‘poison dress’ literally.. So when I take it off there’s nobody there. This is what patriarchal society with its hypocrisy and violence does to its children.

Serving the Empire demands a great deal of personal repression which creates the problem of identity for the characters. Victoria. and what men want is what I want to be. Five Kinds of Silence and The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution. “Cloud Nine. p.learn that this cast is not at all illogical. Edward. When it comes to his son’s femininity. Just like daughters in Daddy.. It does not matter if they do not deserve it. I am a man’s creation as you see. I may not deserve it. 251. who neglects his family members’ needs for love and tenderness and instead imposes on them a kind of life that will make them good servants to the Empire. who is played by a woman in Act 1. Edward keeps trying to express his feminine feeling. He instructs Edward: “You should always respect and love me. Clive only wants his children’s obedience. 276. which is seen from his words: Women can be treacherous and evil. the son. because she was raised not to question male authority. who seduces the boy. Edward. there is an authoritarian father. and thus the Queen and God.”70 They are dangerous because the values that they stand for are not in accord with the demands of the patriarchal society. p. Sexuality. tries his best to be a good son.” Love. “Selfishness and Self-Love (1939). Clive does everything to suppress it. 184. Deprived of love and affection that he should be getting from his parents. But we do not see a warm father-son relationship. this time a servant of the British Colonial Empire.. Betty.”71 We see here how the word “love” is misused to serve the ideology of the patriarchal society. is never to be questioned. the wife. 37 . his father’s guest. Clive manages to keep Betty’s femininity under control. 72 Erich Fromm. Edward finds it elsewhere.”72 Instead of teaching love. is played by a dummy in Act 1. not for myself. 277. Ibid.in his homosexual relationship with Harry. Once again.”69 And what Clive wants is to purge her from those parts of femininity of which he is afraid. is the image of what her husband wants her to be: “I live for Clive. and Matriarch. because he was my father. p. 1985) p. but he is always reminded that this is not appropriate for a boy. Victoria 69 70 Caryl Churchill. 71 Ibid. The whole aim of my life is to be what he looks for in a wife. They are darker and more dangerous than men. Just like Francoise’s father. but as I respected and loved my own father. Through our father we love our Queen and our God. Edward’s sister. (London : Metheuen Ltd. Edward. We see how private loyalties and personal relationships are sacrificed for the sake of the Empire.” Plays. Clive teaches his son obedience to the system in which the authority of the father. As Fromm put it: “There is no word in our language which has been so much misused and prostituted as the word love.

but also his people and their myths and embraces the Biblical story. and the doll is ultimately cut open by the servant. who is in complete accord with the values of colonialist society.”74 It is of course. The symbolism of a doll is very important in the play.284. 280 38 . In this act we see the characters struggling to escape the father’s shadow and live their lives. easier in the male dominated world to believe in this story. In spite of this. only to finish with: “Of course it’s not true. Victoria’s grandmother. At the end of Act 1. has a doll which is destroyed by the end of this act. p. the change seems superficial and the effects of colonialism are still felt. teaches Victoria to hit the doll. The doll comes to stand for the oppressed femininity. which makes her a perfect little daughter. than in the story of the natives where great goddess is considered responsible for the creation of the world and where there was a balance between male and female. p. Maud. Clive is a self-pronounced father to the natives. and his servant. She has no voice in Act 1. Victoria. God made man white like him and gave him the woman who liked the snake and gave us all this trouble.. Edward does not say a word to prevent this. who is in Act one played by a doll. Although things have changed. and yet it is not complete. The oppression 73 74 Cloud Nine. Joshua. Ibid. Just like the oppressed characters in other plays discussed in this chapter. tells Clive:” You are my father and mother. but also in his relationship to his black servant. a century later. who seems to be in complete accord with the values of colonialism. Joshua. It’s a bad story. She is completely controlled by others. we see that the myth of the natives has not been forgotten and Joshua tells it to Edward. Joshua shoots Clive right in front of Edward’s eyes. the characters in Cloud Nine attempt to liberate themselves from their father’s shadow. Their liberation seems more successful than the ones in other plays. Adam and Eve is true. played by a white man. Act 2 takes place in England. the one that Francoise’s parents wanted but never got. The violence directed at the doll has its parallel in the invisible pedagogical violence that is used in order to suppress the values connected to the matriarchal principle.is not allowed to develop her personality. to use Fromm’s words. The hypocrisy and the oppression of the colonial system is not only seen in Clive’s relationship to his family members. but only twenty five years have passed for the characters.”73 The oppression of the “father” is so successful in Joshua’s case that he renounces not only his parents.

Churchill shows how difficult and frightening it is for the patriarchal male to let go of the sense of control. and yet he wants to assert his dominance. Rabe. Trying to find her own identity Victoria experiments with homosexuality. Stephenson and Kane does not make us comfortable. Churchill. We are forced to see all the brutality of the so called “civilized” societies. now played by a woman. In his homosexual relationship he tries to play the role of a wife and he ultimately takes over the role of a mother. brutalized. She is married to Martin. thus becoming an opposite person of what Clive expected him to be. As a boy. depleted but continuously awe-inspiring world is in fact to turn away from it-to turn one’s back in large part on life and the age-old succor that writers need: truth. but her identity is still in crisis. he was forbidden to play with Victoria’s doll and thus express his maternal instinct. She escapes her traditional role of a wife by divorcing Clive and getting a job. whereas for others it is too late. 75 On Writing as Transgression 39 . vandalized. but because it has become more sophisticated. Damaged by the expectation of the oppressive father. He wants the lead role in his wife’s emancipation. but not because it is not there.”75 Reading Bond. Conclusion: Turning Looking into Seeing and Breaking the Silences about Violence “To be safe and sure and comfortable in this beautiful. by taking care of Victoria’s and her partner’s children. Mann. A partial liberation is possible for some of them. who is just a subtler type of oppressor. She is still influenced by colonial tradition but she somehow manages to reconcile the past with the present which is symbolically shown on the stage when Betty from Act1 and Betty from Act 2 embrace. Betty. The predicament of all these characters who have been the victims of abuse and oppression all their lives shows us the horrors of the world in which patriarchal ‘values’ prevent them from having normal relationship with their fathers and partners. seems to be more in touch with her feminine side in this act. In the character of Martin. Victoria now has her voice and she seems liberated. Edward too is still on a quest for his identity. At one point he says that he wishes to be a woman.might not be as visible as before. He is trying to be modern and support women’s emancipation.

or go to Afghanistan.”78 Mark and Pavlo both go to war for the wrong reasons and for false ideals. For twenty four years nobody noticed what was going on. it is even less probable that we will see the horrors happening in the world. there is a case in real life that is even more so. Tolerating violence and disguising it as peace leaves people unaware that war and peace are false polarities. A crime is not a crime if “we” commit it. If the story of the family in Five Kinds of Silence is disturbing. Terror is not terror if “we” do it. In 2008 police discovered a man in Austria who had kept his daughter captive in the basement for twenty four years. Our world is closer to the world of 1984 than we want to admit. propaganda had become more sophisticated. 383 Breaking the Great Australian Silence 78 Ibid. It didn’t matter. It didn’t happen. where he physically and sexually abused her and where she gave birth to seven children. It was of no interest.” Drama from Ibsen to Brech. All these wars are waged for power and dominance and there is nothing glorious or noble about that. There might be ‘Billys’ in our neighborhood and we would not notice.” (1984) “As people have become more aware. Keeping people in ignorance makes it possible for the world powers to commit horrible crimes in the name of peace. An invasion is not an invasion if “we” do it. Violence in Bond’s Lear and Saved might be exaggerated because of its purpose. The propaganda used by the world powers to justify all their wars may be summarized in one sentence: “War is Peace. even if we refuse to see. Even while it was happening it didn’t happen. 40 . p. which seeks out those points in life where the great conflicts occur.”76 What makes these plays disturbing is precisely the fact that all that they depict is happening in the real world around us on daily basis. But there is nothing exaggerated in Stephenson’s Five Kinds of Silence. It is all the same. we are trained to respect this censorship by omission.”77 as John Pilger put it. If we are unable to see what is happening in our own neighborhood. to jolt us into awareness.Williams writes about “true naturalism. This is the story of the colonialists in Churchill’s The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution and Cloud Nine. What makes these wars possible is the fact that people are accustomed to seeing other nations and religions as 76 77 “Conclusion. which rejoices in seeing what cannot be seen every day. This is the story of thousands of soldiers who went to Vietnam. Iraq or Libya. especially with the propaganda and manipulation that we are all exposed to through media. Penguin. “In Australia.

Innocent children were dying in Vietnam. The innocent people killed in the Twin Towers were worthy victims.”80 The response to Bond’s Saved and Kane’s Blasted demonstrates how true Baraka’s claim is. where he reminds people of the unmentionable episodes in Australian history: “Tonight.different and distant. It is precisely this silence and its consequences that John Pilger talks about in his speech Breaking the Great Australian Silence. at the time when Saved premiered. Bond and Churchill expose the ideologies of patriarchal society and the devastation that they bring to everyone.” This is not only the condition of Australian people. however. There are double standards as Pilger points out: “In the arsenal of freedom we have two categories of victims. and the way we are manipulated by great power which speaks through an invisible government of propaganda that subdues and limits our political imagination and ensures we are always at war – against our own first people and those seeking refuge. and the monstrosities shown in Blasted were inspired by the war in Bosnia. Harold Pinter being one of them. the way we see the world. The Revolutionary Theatre 41 . The innocent people killed by Nato bombers in Afghanistan are unworthy victims. Israelis are worthy. As Amiri Baraka put it: “Americans will hate the Revolutionary Theatre because it will be out to destroy them and whatever they believe is real. as Naomi Wallace claims. To see and accept that we are all being manipulated is a difficult process. Rabe. The theatre productions do not give the audience the opportunity to switch the channel in order to avoid the horrible scenes of violence. the distance between people is a fabrication that has to be torn down. Mann. Pilger goes further to talk about the ever present silence that can be broken only by the bravest. or in someone else’s country. But it is this discomfort that makes the audience 79 80 Ibid. I would like to talk about this silence: about how it affects our national life. does not mean that they are not there. The fact that we do not see the horrors. It is not comfortable to watch or read them. The outrage caused by Saved and Blasted only shows the hypocrisy of the British society. It will only make us the silent accomplices. Closing our eyes in front of monstrosities will not make them go away. All the plays that have been discussed in this thesis are deep and touching. Palestinians are unworthy…”79 But. The dramatists mentioned in this work belong to this tradition.

” Love. ethnic groups. we are paralyzed.org. Thus far in human history.”84 Once we see the truth. in every media college. I propose a people’s Fifth Estate that monitors. And I think if we stay aware of that.”81 In order for the world to change we have to realize the important thing. But to become able to create such a world we must go through a painful process. we might try to stop the causes of suffering.that there is no us and them because: “When we look beyond appearances. maybe we can protect ourselves and come out on the other side. social classes and casts. we must break the silence and let the truth be heard and faced by the world 81 82 Erich Fromm. hold on to that knowledge. and Matriarchy. In his essay Do We Still Love Life?. We have to create another world because it is possible. “The 2009World Theatre Day International Message. Sexuality and Matriarchy Fromm wrote: “Suffering is not the worst thing in lifeindifference is… If we suffer. 2010. 27 Mar. and in all of us. We find this message in all the plays that have been discussed. Web. The media can play a great role in this awakening. we need to turn our looking into seeing and see the truth. published in the collection of essays Love. in all societies. inequity and silence that is so often presented as normal. A quote from Emily Mann’s Still Life may be used as an example of what these plays teach us. p. 2009.feel that there is something deeply wrong with their culture and makes them think outside their own “protected world” that makes them indifferent to the sufferings of others. She manages to make the audience perceive Mark as their own conscience through Nadine’s words: “Mark has become a conscience for me. First. 83 Still Life. as Pilger points out: “It was Edmund Burke who spoke of the press as a Fourth Estate. 15 Dec. And finally. genders. Through him – I’ve come to understand the violence in myself… and in him. 209. we must stay aware and hold on to that knowledge. we see an unfair and cruel world.”82 Boal’s message is optimistic and hopeful. p. 42 . “Do We Still Love Life (1967). deconstructs and counters the official news.” Worldteatreday. In every news room. suffering has been the midwife of change. teachers of journalism and journalists themselves need to be challenged about the part they play in the bloodshed. 271 84 Breaking the Great Australian Silence 84 Ibid. even if that makes us feel uncomfortable. If we feel nothing.”83 There is a hope in Nadine’s words of a different world. we see the oppressors and the oppressed people. Augusto Boal. Sexuality.

as Martin Luther King said. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. 16 Dec.com. Web.because. 2010 43 .”85 85 Martin Luther King. “Beoynd Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” Americanrethoric.

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http://www. Memory of Water/Five Kinds of Silence. pp.html [accessed 15/01/2010]  Plath. New York: Theatre Communications Group.   Kane. 95-132. Complete Plays. (1988) In Their Own Words: Contemporary American Playwrights. London: Penguin 45 .  Heaney. About Gender. Break.  Petrović. (2001). Shelagh. Daddy. Five Kinds of Silence. Four Plays. The Nobel Prize Lecture. Still Life.  Stephenson. (1973) Drama from Ibsen to Brecht. Art. Famous American Plays of the 1970. London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd. Identity: Introducing XX Century Literary Theory. (1976). (1997). Sexuality and Matriarchy. 164-177  Rabe. (2005). North. Seamus.  Savran. Blasted. Raymond. New York: Laurel. David. Lena. Goddess Remembered. 29-116. http://www. (2007) On Writing as Transgression. Directed by Donna Read.nobelprize. New York: Pantheon Books. pp. New York: Fromm International Publishing Corporation. Sarah. Culture. Blow. Harold. Truth and Politics. (1981) The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-three of the World’s Best Poems. Hercules and Antaeus. (1989) Film. pp. Niš: Prosveta  Pinter. Emily. pp. Sylvia.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinterlecture.pdf [accessed 15/11/2010]  Williams. New York: Theatre Communications Group. Erich. pp. (2004) Literature. Canada: NFB  Fromm. London: Metheun. 53-54. Testimonies. New York: Oxford UP.  Wallace. 213-274. (2005). Naomi. (1997). (1997) Love. Mann.playwrightsfoundation. David.org/images/previous%20teachers/at_ja n08_transgressionFINAL.

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