UNIVERSITY OF NIŠ FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

MODERN ANGLO-AMERICAN DRAMA

CHILDREN AS VICTIMS OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM IN MODERN ANGLO-AMERICAN DRAMA: EDWARD BOND, CARYL CHURCHILL AND NEIL LABUTE

STUDENT: RADMILA FILIPOVIC SEDLAR

TEACHER ADVISER: PROF.DR LJILJANA BOGOEVA

NIŠ, SERBIA

APRIL 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction................................................................................... ..................................1 Beyond capitalism Theatre is supposed to accuse and attack

Children as victims of the capitalist system

Working Class Dehumanized by the System Edward Bond “ Saved”………………………………………………………… 6

Colonization as the By-Product of Capitalism Caryl Churchill “ Hospital at the time of revolution”……………………….........12

Modern-Day Capitalism Neil LaBute “Iphigenia in Orem”……………………………………………….18

Conclusion Marija Gimbutas “Signs Out of Time”……………………………………………22

Reference………………………………………………………………………… 24 INTRODUCTION Beyond Capitalism

What inspired this paper is the fact that we live in false democratic societies; capitalism, racism, and exploitation are hidden under the name of democracy. We are led to believe that we live in a just world that values our individuality and freedom. However, we are in fact victims of the capitalist system. Since the system is based on production and material profit, it creates a class division between proletariat or working class and bourgeoisie or capitalist class. The ruling class controls all social institutions and production of property. The driving force of the system is the material profit and for this reason, the society turns into a huge market in which an individual does not have more value than any other object. Workers earn only small amount of wages and the rest of the profit goes to the capitalist. The survival of the market depends on consumption and an individual in this way becomes a consumer. By wanting to consume more and more, a consumer is superficially satisfying his/her needs. However, his true human needs for love, closeness and security cannot be satisfied. In Adrienne Rich’s words “Our desire is stolen from us, and

government. they want to dominate other people in order to feel powerful. The system of family. Literature. in the healthiest stage of morality. In Karl Marx’s essay “Alienation”. pg 181 1 . from other individuals and eventually from their own existence. one must obey its norms and values.then it is fabricated and sold back to us”. violence bursts out on a daily basis. In order to be accepted in the society. Identity. he argues that in the capitalistic division of labor. from nature. man is estranged from his productive activity because it becomes only a means of maintaining physical existence. Prosveta. law. As Mark Ravenhill points out in his play “Shopping and Fucking” the consumer is presented with the false choice. However. Although the ruling class tries to preserve order. economic system and mass media corrupt the individual’s innate nature in order to create law-abiding citizens. 2004. Social institutions are very important in the capitalist system because they are protecting the interests of the ruling class.1 Therefore. education. Some individuals turn to violence because they are deprived of their emotional needs. individuals become alienated from the product of their labor. Culture. Writing as re-naming. the prisons are crowded with criminals whose innate goodness was corrupted by the society. Feeling insignificant. We are under the impression that we can choose how to live our lives but it is actually dictated by the products offered by the huge companies. The system teaches the individual to be indifferent to others and to place his own selfish needs above all else. Both science and literature teach us that a child is born innocent. Others comply with Lena Petrovic.

laws and regulations. they accept its norms. In almost every developed society. Nevertheless. the end of racism and the end of violence. Some of them manage to follow their innate goodness and resist the oppression. Its concern is to 2 Raymond Williams. Theatre Is Supposed To ACCUSE and ATTACK The role of drama as well as literature in general is to reveal the truth that is different from the manufactured truths made by the governing social institutions. Their yearning for justice makes them fight for equality. humanity.the system. Many writers and playwrights are in this third group of people. conclusion . all drama deals with the true representation of life. Drama from Ibsen to Brecht. literature is able to conceive of the self and the selfhood of others. a minority of people manages to avoid the corruption of the system. According to Raymond Williams’ book “Drama from Ibsen to Brecht”2.

focused on the internal consciousness of the individual. Expressionism. These rooms represented an emblem of society distracting the development of the individual. Dramatic tension is between what men feel themselves capable of becoming. It excluded supernatural forces. 3 He wanted to “confront the human drama in its immediate setting.5 Contrary to Naturalism.4” Ibsen has placed his characters in the rooms of the bourgeoisie. This inner world is depicted physically on the stage. the setting is such that it reveals inner condition of an individual. and behave because he believed that if we see in detail the environment the men have created. without reference to outside forces. In order to do so. the movement that followed it. pg 386 Ibid. The difference is only in the form that the certain theatre movement uses to depict this conflict. Henrik Ibsen was one of the founders of Naturalistic theatre.portray the difficulty of experience of an individual trapped in the bourgeois society. feel. it used a variety of theatrical and dramatic strategies: detailed setting and everyday speech forms. outwardly settings and complicated plots. fantastic. and a thwarting environment that does not allow them to develop their true potentials. we shall learn the truth about them. pg 386 4 5 . On the stage. 3 Ibid. he wanted to recreate the ways in which people speak. In his plays. unable to escape from it. preventing his growth. pg 385 Ibid. Naturalism developed in the 19th century and it attempted to create a perfect illusion of reality. he depicted a highly repressive society that causes the waste of human potentials.

”7 he states that theatre should not be a means of entertainment. “This theatre must accuse and attack anything that can be accused and attacked. This theatre will be much hated because it will reveal the truth about racism and the effect that it still has on black people’s sense of identity.org/images/previous %20teachers/at_jan08_transgressionFINAL. it should question it instead. insult. pg 391 http://nationalhumanitiescenter. In Amiri Baraka’s 1965 manifesto “The Revolutionary Theatre. Naomi discusses how teachers might encourage students to envision a theatre as a space for social and imaginative 6 Ibid. a contemporary American playwright. its purpose remains the same. He praises the theatre of the black people. Its victims will soon become new heroes who will be out to destroy and ASSAULT white America and Europe.it has the passion for strictly human truth. it will not use physical weapons.org/pds/maai3/protest/text12/barakatheatre. Naomi Wallace. defends the status of drama in literature by trying to explain what the best way to teach drama is.playwrightsfoundation. The audience is not supposed to be entertained by the violence. stating that it is the theatre of victims. Likewise.Whatever conventions and techniques drama uses. In her manifesto “On Writing as Transgression”10. but it should expose. in contrast to US’s forced spreading of democracy.pdf 10 .9 However. 6 Violence that it depicts is different from violence in film and on television. and preach.”8 It should make white men cower before this theatre. It will triumph with its preaching of virtue and feeling.pdf Ibid Ibid 7 8 9 http://www. correct.

In this essay I will endeavour to show. They should not be ignorant of information that does not come from the dominant mass media. by discussing the plays by Edward Bond. In the plays. By creating such characters. Caryl Churchill and Neil LaBute. Wallace writes that the purpose of modern drama is to resist the injustice and tear down all ingenious fabrications designed to control the perception of the people. classism. However. homophobia. To conclude her manifesto. we live in an age of capitalism and Wallace states that “We live in a culture that is hostile to creativity that does not serve capitalism. As it was mentioned above. how capitalism and its institutions affect the children born into such a society. Their parents’ violence is not innate. The adults choose different ways to serve the system. and sexism.transformation. there are individuals who preserve innate human goodness and it is through such characters that the authors portray the importance of questioning our culture and our society. and the most virulent by-products of those forces: racism. Young students should become dangerous citizens11. in these plays. They should not close their eyes to the fact that millions of people have died in Africa and in the Middle East because of civilization’s constant greed for money and conquest. empire. they either comply with it or blindly obey the rules. children are victims of either physical or psychological violence. the playwrights try to make 11 Ibid Ibid 12 . it is a product of the system. constantly and aggressively. they should not maintain the status quo.12” Students should be encouraged to read history.

”13 Bond does not believe that human beings are innately violent. Lear. the English playwright Edward Bond says: “I write about violence as naturally as Jane Austen wrote about manners. Instead. Violence shapes and obsesses our society. and if we do not stop being violent we have no future. People who do not want writers to write about violence want to stop them writing about us and our time. It would be immoral not to write about violence. London. CHILDREN AS VICTIMS OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM WORKING-CLASS DEHUMANIZED BY THE SYSTEM In his preface to the modern version of Shakespeare’s “King Lear”. he is convinced that men tend towards 13 Bond. Eyre Methuen Ltd.the audience recognize the potential in the individual to revolt against the unjust system. 1978 .. Edward.

He is particularly critical of the division of society into the ruling and the ruled classes. Methuen & Co LTD. the roots of violence lie in something he calls “social morality”. but their jobs are not creative. Thus. 1969 15 16 . only a fundamental change in society can truly abolish violence. Bond’s play “Saved”16 was published in 1965. Its plot is set in the contemporary post-war South London. but put up with them 14 Ibid Ibid Edward Bond. receives the moral sanction of being ‘law and order’. They do not love their jobs. He states that ‘we tend to respond aggressively only when we are deprived of our physical and emotional needs. In his own words: “In this way an unjust society causes and defines crime. Law and order is one of the steps taken to maintain injustice. This form of violence is invisible and indirect. It portrays a group of young working class people who struggle to survive in the cruel economic system. Namely. and an aggressive social structure which is unjust and must create aggressive social disruption.violence because the way in which society works alienates them from their peaceful nature. They are aimless. Violence is a response to the social order. Saved.’15 According to Bond. He also sees the reigning social mores and laws as latently aggressive. Bond sees the root of all evil in the capitalist society’s alienation of mankind. rude and troublesome. he openly argues that the aggressiveness is not a need but rather the ability. It is internalized by the individual in the course of his/her socialization.”14 In addition. They work. there is no evidence that people are innately aggressive. Similarly to Karl Marx.

“It is their life. Being a part of the capitalist system. they are easily replaceable and therefore do not feel as significant members of the society. During their flirting. They reveal the lack of Ibid. He is an inquisitive young man who falls in love with her. However. there is a lack of communication in this dysfunctional family.”17 Thus. Pam’s father Harry comes in the room and goes out several times. Len becomes a lodger in Pam’s house. This family is deprived of emotion. Pam is indifferent to her father’s presence. She cannot remember the reason for their feud or more precisely. Harry also does not comment on his daughter having a stranger in their home. Pam’s mother Mary and he have not spoken to each other for years. 17 they are fragmented. their conversations are not meaningful. he is a quiet resident of the house who cooks his own food and irons his clothes. pg 24 . she has never questioned it. When Len asks her about it. she responds. The play’s opening scene features Pam and Len in Pam’s living room. He wants to know everything about her but she wants to keep their relationship on a superficial level. Right from the beginning of the play. he imagines their honeymoon and a little apartment of their own. its members are estranged from one another. Although Pam is not responsive.in order to earn small wages. He is not a dominant patriarchal figure. They even speak in a different accent in order to be distinguished from the ruling class. yer know. she does not introduce him to Len and she is not concerned about what he is doing. it is evident that Pam is alienated from her parents. Later in the play. Yer can’t do nothin’. Their only intersection is the money that Harry leaves on the fireplace every Friday. intimacy and compassion. Len makes plans for their future together.

” While the baby is crying in the other room. Pam is deprived of the motherly feelings because her mother Mary also does not care about her daughter’s life. Len. she is the one who is constantly begging for his attention. Len is just an instrument for her physical desire. In the scene four. Pam. pretending not to hear the baby sobbing. he does not want to take responsibility as the baby’s father. Despite Len’s trying to be intimate with Pam. When Pam gives birth to Fred’s baby. Following her parent’s example. When Len tries to remind her that it is her responsibility as a mother to look after the baby. Baby does not have a human name and everyone in the play refer to the baby as IT. Therefore. Harry and Mary are preoccupied with lunch and they do nothing to help the baby. On the other hand.communication and alienation in human relations.18 Len is the only one who regards the baby as a human being. The baby is first mentioned in the stage directions: “Slowly a baby starts to cry. Pam can be perceived as a victim of the society she was 18 Ibid. She cuts her baby off emotionally and therefore it ceases to be a living thing to her. He only wants a superficial relationship with her and in this case. she rudely answers that he can take the baby away if he loves it so much. but he also does not try to comfort it. It goes on crying without a break until the end of the scene. a young member of a local gang. She calls it “a racket”. pg 40 . she is obsessed with Fred. Mary and Harry are in the living room. she is not capable of having a meaningful relationship. Love is impersonal for her. she is alienated from people and does not want to change her attitude. nobody tries to comfort it. Pam is carelessly making up her face.

They start having fun by pinching the baby and 19 Ibid. After Pam has an argument with Fred and goes home. she did not have a chance to develop her true potentials. with a brick. Barry sings it to provoke the laughter of his friends. At first. Although the baby is not crying. Pam brings the baby who is numbed by the aspirins she gave it in order to be quiet around Fred. Mike.”20 Barry sings a The song is shocking and horrible. they begin with pushing the baby’s pram to each other. Pete. they figure that there is nothing wrong with teasing the baby. the men begin to play a game with it. She was deprived of parental love and in return. Pam takes the baby to the park where Fred is hanging out with his friends. morbid nursery rhyme: “Rock a baby on a tree top When the winds blow the cradle will rock When the bow breaks the cradle will fall And down will come baby and cradle and tree an’ bash its little brains out an’ dad’ll scoop ‘em up and use ‘em for bait. Colin and Barry. Since there is no one around to see them. Fred has no moral responsibility for the baby and he treats it as an object. pg 63 Ibid. As a member of a working class. leaving the baby. These young working class men exchange cruel sexual jokes and quarrel over trivial matters throughout the play. she is not able to love her own baby. They call the baby “a bloody nutter”19 and joke about putting it to sleep for good. In a desperate attempt to draw Fred’s attention.born into. its presence bothers these men. pg 63 20 .

They begin to take pleasure in hurting the baby and they gradually become more aggressive. They lose their own identity and from time to time. The society restricts and exhausts the gang members intellectually. The irresponsible mother unable to connect with her child is the product of the capitalist system. She does not even look at the pram to check if the baby is unharmed. Feeling unimportant in the system. they start punching it. These men experience an explosion of aggression where they do not perceive the baby’s human nature. Pam turns back to take the baby.pulling its hair. they murder the baby by stoning it. although he was indifferent at first. they need to prove their power and effectiveness. When Colin warns them not to hurt the baby. However. they seek momentary satisfaction. the young men who stoned the baby to death could not connect to it because they are alienated from other people. they gradually become more violent. Mike explains that the baby cannot be hurt at that age because it has no feelings. they do not judge their actions as morally wrong. Consequently. pg 72 . they burst into violent actions to assert their own existence. like an animal. Her words to the baby “luckily yer got someone t’ look after yer”21 are ironic since she left it with a group of brutes who killed it. they start stoning the baby. In the same manner. They even take off the baby’s diaper and rub it in its face. Having no clear goals in their lives. By treating it as an object. They are the replaceable servants of the system who do not command their own lives. When they leave the crime scene. Fred also takes part in the stoning. As a climax of their violence. 21 Ibid.

one of the institutions preserving the interests of capitalism. Pam does not appreciate Len’s love and his effort to satisfy her emotional needs. he blames Pam for leaving the baby. This fact points out to a flaw in the legal system. He does not feel guilt or remorse because of his actions. Just as Pete does not feel quilt for murdering the boy. Fred does not feel remorse for killing his own child. she constantly asks him to leave her house. Being insignificant in the society and in her own family. This coroner-twit says ‘e’s sorry for troubling me. Instead. COLIN. there is Pam’s psychological violence against Len. she needs to feel 22 Ibid. MIKE. PETE. pg 28 . none of them reproaches Pete. At the moment of murder. he felt a sudden urge to destroy. She takes pleasure from insulting him. Can’t touch yer.he killed the boy intentionally. Pete talks to his friends about a car accident in which he killed an innocent boy with his van.22 Moreover. They enjoy Pete’s victory: MIKE. In addition to physical violence against children. The law thanks him for his help. it was not an accident at all. His friends listen to his story with laughter and admiration. being imprisoned does not lead Fred to accept his crime.Earlier in the play. However. Accidents is legal. he only regrets the fact that his car bodywork was ruined. The system does not seek out the roots of the crime but it is focused on the punishment. In addition. He is proud because he has avoided the punishment. only Fred among all others is arrested and imprisoned for the murder of the baby.

it seems that Len is an outsider in the social order. He is caring and compassionate. there is one person in the play who preserves his innate goodness. he makes plans for the future. Fred needs to feel empowered in his relation to Pam. In spite of Pam’s degrading attitude. He does not feel alienated from other people. Fred boasts of his sexuality. He enjoys having power over her. when it seems that Pam and her family are in a desperate situation. Len remains devoted to her. Finally. Wanting to overcome the feeling of triviality in the social system. He nurses her patiently when she is ill. the society has not destroyed his innate goodness. he tries to establish meaningful relationship. Pam is irritated by his presence because his sincere love is contradictory to the alienated and aggressive relationships that she experiences in her society. He also does not comply with the system. instead. he is the only one who takes care of Pam’s baby when everyone else disregards it. Even though he is another object used for the preservation of industrial society. At one point in the play. Moreover. He pays attention to Harry and is friendly towards Mary. Len does not choose either physical or psychological violence. he even selflessly tries to reconcile her with Fred. At the end of the play.dominant in relation to someone.he makes her wait for him every night in suspense. He refuses to recognize the defeat and therefore there is a hope that they will possibly find a new order out of .he talks about decorating their home. Although she is obsessed with another man. he struggles to make her happy. In contrast to other characters. Compared with other characters in the play. concerned about other people’s feelings. His creative work is symbolic of trying to mend the social order around him. Likewise. we see Len mending the broken chair.

”23 written in 1972.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1986/soyinka-lecture. he explored the psychological effect of colonization on the psyche of a nation. is based on historical facts. Soyinka talks about himself as an actor in the London theatre who refused to come to the stage and perform his role of the camp guard in the play “Eleven Men dead at Hola.” regarding the Algerian struggle for independence from colonial rule in the late 1950s. It is partly influenced by Frantz Fanon’s famous book “The Wretched of the Earth. One of Fanon’s students and followers was Wole Soyinka. and the first African to be awarded with the Nobel Prize in literature. His life and work have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades. Even though a child is sacrificed. Methuen Drama. The Hospital at the time of Revolution. dealing with colonialism. He chooses to resist the restrictions of the system. 1985 24 http://nobelprize.the disorder. poet. COLONIZATION AS THE BY-PRODUCT OF CAPITALISM Caryl Churchill’s play “The Hospital at the Time of Revolution. In his 1986 Nobel Prize Speech. 23 Caryl Churchill. Shorts.html . a Nigerian writer. “This Past Must Address its Presence”24. playwright. As a psychiatrist.” The play dealt with an event that took place at Hola Camp. Fanon supported the colonial struggle for liberation and he became the member of the Algerian Liberation Front. there is an optimistic ending to a play suggesting that there is always a chance to change the society.

Cesaire equates colonization with “thing-ification”27 because it turned the colonized into an instrument of production. they should never be forgotten or justified. Aime Cesaire. The British herded Kenyans into special camps and the incident in the play involved the death of eleven Kenyans who were beaten up to death by camp guards. in his speech Soyinka wants to assure we remember the atrocities done by the colonizers.”26 He criticizes our decadent. In turn. and deadly process and it had negative effects on the psyche of both the colonizer and the colonized. European colonizers imposed forced labour. and dying Western civilization as incapable of solving the problems of the working class and colonization. There was an official report of the event that was at the time presented to the British public. Therefore. pressure. during the Mau-Mau Liberation struggle. In his opinion. Colonization was a cruel. makes a similar statement in his 1955 “Discourse on Colonialism. and intimidation onto the colonized. stricken.co. Caryl Churchill sets the plot of the “Hospital” in the Blida-Joinville Hospital in the colonialist Algeria.bandung2.uk/books/Files/Politics/Discourse%20on%20Colonialism. it brutalized them and squeezed out the compassion of them. The report said that the prisoners died because they drank water from a poisoned water supply. Frantz Fanon’s teacher.pdf Ibid 27 . where Fanon is the head of the 25 26 Ibid http://www. ruthless. rape.25 Mau-Mau was an anticolonial force that fought against the British colonial power from 1952 to 1960. He argues that the real reasons for colonization were economic profit and white men’s greed under the pretence of spreading religion and “civilizing” the savages. theft.Kenya. colonization dehumanized the colonizers.

molded in the way to suit her parents. these are the symptoms of her mental illness. This department treats both the Algerian revolutionaries and the French colonizers. not allowing her to socialize with other children. Shorts. The play opens and ends with the story about a 17-year-old girl Francoise. Her father Monsieur is a high-ranked French officer who is responsible for interrogation of numerous Algerian patriots. the parents kept her in the house all the time. In fact. They believe their daughter suffers from a serious mental illness and they want Fanon to keep her in the hospital. he identifies with the Algerian patients. She was always an obedient daughter with good manners. 1985. but the reader has an impression that his silence is important. “It would never occur to Francoise to be anything I didn’t want”28. Many of his patients were those who suffered from either psychological or physical violence. uses rude language and rejects food. with no consciousness of her own. When asked to describe her childhood. Madame claims that she studied too hard because of her desire to go to university in Lions. Her mother says. Whenever she speaks truthfully about Caryl Churchill. They treated her as their little doll. The Hospital at the time of Revolution. but remains objective throughout the play. Monsieur argues that since he is a civil servant. In her parents’ opinion.psychiatric department. escapes from school. Fanon has a few lines in the play. there is no chance that he could have raised his daughter to become a juvenile delinquent. Since he is black. pg 102 28 . Methuen Drama. Francoise has nightmares. Her parents are part of the colonial system. but the reader has an impression that she was more like a bird in the cage. Madame explains that she had a perfect upbringing.

”30This poisoning is symbolic.her observations. she was taught to be a respectable member of the society with high goals to accomplish. Her mother says to her “that’s right. Her father claims that everyone in their family is scrupulously honest and truthful and that his daughter’s deception is unforgivable. In this manner. her parents dismiss her as psychotic. She does not imagine the screaming she hears at night. She says. pg 112 30 . she was not given a chance to develop her true potentials. she is a 29 Ibid. Moreover. Francoise’s few arguments make perfect sense. it’s all your horrid dreams. she was taught not to be friends with the black children because they could hurt her. They confess to Fanon that one day she even threw a cup of boiling coffee at her mother and told her she hated her. Contrary to Pam. In addition. Monsieur brings some of the prisoners in an empty wing of their house and the police torture them there at night. As a daughter of the oppressor. It started in the milk when I was a baby. Francoise hears the crying and the screaming. “All my life she’s been trying to poison me. she does not want to eat because she believes that her mother wants to poison her. pg 114 Ibid. in the same way as Pam from Saved. her father tortures the prisoners in the other room. she has been indoctrinated by the culture she was born into. Nevertheless. but her parents try to persuade her that those voices are all in her head.”29 They cannot possibly conceive of such behaviour because a normal upper-class girl is not allowed to be so impolite and disobedient. She learned from her parents that the Algerians are evil by nature and that she should be protected if she wants to live.

She had taken off her dress. When she came downstairs to greet their guests. His wife also does not have a sense of her identity. Francoise’s parents are in denial of the roles they play in the oppression of the Algerians. He tries to convince himself that he has everything under control. the task of the police is to curb. the native children are naturally born violent and dishonest.member of the ruling capitalist class. There is a complete lack of trust or unity in their relationship. On her birthday. In his opinion. pg 110 . Francoise explains: 31 Ibid.she lives in the country although she despises the heat and the natives. Madame got Francoise all dressed up and did her hair prettily. Her father blatantly denies that the revolution is happening by stating that “there is no war and no revolution”31. she was naked. According to him. He confesses to Fanon that he identifies with his job. He reduces the natives to mere animals and does not consider that it is their human right to demand justice. Therefore. He is a typical patriarchal figure in his family and an obedient servant of the system. only the French could pacify the land because the Algerians naturally have criminal tendencies. but her soul is poisoned by the injustice that her father does to the Algerians. there are only isolated incidents. abusive and in denial. if he had to give up his profession as an officer. Similarly to the family in Saved. He gave up his human goodness and internalized the values of capitalism. this family is secretive. cut it to pieces and urinated on it. suppress and pacify. She tries to satisfy her husband’s demands. The law exists to deal with them. he would lose his identity.

During her conversation with Fanon. He is unable to reconcile killing innocent French colonials in the name of punishing the oppressive officers who wronged his people. but underneath it. Thus. He confides that he became isolated from his own wife. I was rotting away. Bit by bit I was disappearing. his personality is split because of the torturing he endured. In the same way that the natives are fighting for their independence. There are three Algerians in the hospital. His sense of identity is damaged. she is disappearing and rotting away. With both of her parents emotionally isolated from her. unable to sacrifice his job for their intimacy. B and C. she is also fighting using her madness as a defence against her parents and the system. That was a poison dress I put on. He looked in the mirror and there was a European looking out. He used violence for a “right” cause but he damaged his humanity.“The dress looked very pretty. Her psyche and her soul have been poisoned throughout her life by her parents’ racist prejudice and the injustice she witnessed every day.”32 Francoise feels nothingness under the dress. he is not sure who he is any more. Francoise has also lost her unified identity. He discovers that his wife was also secretly a patriot when she dies while carrying grenades for the cause. 32 Ibid. Patient A suffers perpetual guilt from the lives lost in an explosion from a bomb he planted in a French café. Patient C is constantly trying to prove that he is an Algerian patriot. patients A. The dress is walking about with no one inside it. He hears voices that call him a traitor. pg 146 . she refers to herself in the first person and third person.

defines himself by his profession. he must stay through to finish each interrogation because if he does not. He is so used to torturing others all the time that he continues with it when he goes home. his children are victims because their father is a dutiful servant of the system. He. there is another psychiatrist in the hospital. According to the scientists.Another patient in the play is the Police Inspector. He wants to destroy them. Therefore. At home. He states that if he smacks one of his daughters. he beats his children violently. He blatantly asks Fanon to prescribe him the drugs that will prevent his job interfere with his family life. he hears his children cry and he is glad that he is making them suffer. He is young white man who openly expresses his racism. He wants the drugs to numb him so that he could go on torturing the Algerian patriots and has a peaceful family life at the same time. He was an average pupil at the village school but he stabbed his friend and his family because they picked up olives from his father’s property. pg 130 . He needs both strength and intelligence to accomplish his task successfully. Except for Fanon. The fifteen-yearold-boy is submitted in the hospital because he has killed three people. His job is stressful and he is constantly under pressure.33 His youngest daughter was once unconscious for ten minutes due to his beating. some of his colleagues might get the credit. like Monsieur. Moreover. The doctor explains that the Algerians are innately violent. He once had a harmonious family life but now he gets the attacks when he wants to hurt people. the black people have virtually no cortex. he rejects his humanity and uses aggressiveness to feel significant just as characters from Saved do. He argues that 33 Ibid. he cannot stop. Due to his social role in the system.

the shallowness of emotional effect. white men are distinguished by cortical thinking. Bash: letterday plays. On the other hand. it also deals with 34 Ibid. Monsieur gives Fanon a compliment because he has managed to rise above his race. the Algerians are LOBOTOMIZED Europeans. MODERN-DAY CAPITALISM Neil LaBute’s play “Iphigenia in Orem”35 was written in 2005. and the inability to grasp the whole concept. the tortured become the torturers. the oppressed struggle to regain their lost identity and in that way become dehumanized. In contrast. Nevertheless. pg 119 Neil LaBute. he certainly uses his frontal lobes. in this play Churchill examines the absurdity of colonization and the effects that it has on both the oppressor and the oppressed. Since he is a successful psychiatrist. The servants of the system accept its norms and regulations and consequently victimize their own children for its preservation.34 This accounts for their impulsive aggression. the laziness. In relation to Bond’s Saved and Churchill’s Hospital.the Algerians are dominated by the lower part of the brain. Iphigenia in Orem. All things considered. He was educated in Paris and therefore they treat him as a perfectly “civilized” white man. Similarly. In other words. he thinks that Fanon is different from other black people. Faber & Faber Ltd 35 . Therefore.

Iphigenia is the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. his brother Menelaus intercepts the message and Clytemnestra never gets it.wikipedia. but she soon discovers the awful truth. he must sacrifice his eldest daughter. because he is afraid that his restless troops will rebel if their bloodlust is not satisfied. The brothers discuss the matter.org/wiki/Iphigenia . It is based on the play “Iphigenia in Aulis”36 written by Euripides around 408 BC. and sends another message to his wife to ignore the first. but they are unable to depart due to a strange luck of wind. Achilles is also furious for having 36 http://en. he soon reconsiders. He sends a message to his wife Clytemnestra. the Greek fleet is waiting at the port of Aulis. Agamemnon must consider this seriously.victimization of children in order to preserve the capitalist system. Since it was written nearly 60 years after the first two. Menelaus is enraged because his brother’s change of heart may lead to the downfall of Greek leaders if the rank discovers that Agamemnon has placed his family above their pride as soldiers. In spite of his horror. her father being the leader of the Greek forces in the Trojan War. In the play. telling her that Iphigenia is to be married to Greek warrior Achilles. it can be argued that nothing has changed in the meantime. This play is a part of the trilogy of” Bash: latter-day plays” which were influenced by Greek mythology. Iphigenia. Iphigenia is thrilled because of her marriage to a famous Achilles. However. and Agamemnon decides to carry out the sacrifice in order to protect the rest of his family from the rebellion of the enraged army. The seer Calchas informs the general that in order to appease the goddess. Nevertheless. The goddess Artemis is holding the winds because Agamemnon has offended her.

his company was recently taken over by another company. and the pressure’s real…”37 He describes his company as a jungle since every day you are out for somebody’s blood. He reveals to the stranger that she is the one who should lose her job. Four people were supposed to be dismissed. There are “old boys” on the top of the company who control everything and are untouchable. The salesman argues that such takeovers were usual in the 80’s. LaBute’s one-act play is set in a Las Vegas hotel room where a young travelling salesman confides his horrible secret to an unknown stranger. a couple of people are dismissed. always wearing a business suit. It always seems to him that he is one-step behind her. and never smiling”39. He works in the Salt Lake office and he enjoys the atmosphere at work.been used as a prop in Agamemnon’s plan and although he tries to defend Iphigenia. At work. usually the ones that could not keep up and usually women. In other words.38 For instance. Nevertheless. he fails because the entire Greece wants Agamemnon to carry out his plan. He describes her as “a walking cliché. lots of cash floating around you. Since she does not have a choice. Iphigenia consents to her sacrifice declaring that she would rather die heroically that be dragged to the altar despite her will. the patriarchal world of business dismisses a woman even 37 Ibid. one has to be competitive because in his words “It’s very high stakes. she is intelligent and she humiliates him in public. pg 12 Ibid Ibid. vicious. since she is a woman. pg 21 38 39 . a female colleague constantly competes with him. He begins his story by talking about the world of business.

However. he began to look at all the things that he and his wife Deb had bought during their marriage. put a pillow over his head in order not to hear Emma crying. Then he carefully examined the situation and decided to use it as a great opportunity to solve his problems. He just stood there. The salesman was devastated. his friend from college called him from the Chicago office to tell him that he was the one who will be dismissed. she is still inferior and less competent. it turned out that his colleague knew the whole time that his . He went down. Consequently. his daughter died under the covers. Suddenly. he heard the baby crying. He fell asleep on the couch and his daughter smothered herself under the heavy blankets on their bed. he did nothing. staring at his daughter fighting for breath. He could not bear losing his job. fighting to get out. and finally fell asleep. He states that it was an accident: his wife and mother-in-law have gone to the supermarket and he remained home with the five-month-old baby Emma. Later on. He coaxed the baby with the edge of his foot.though she is educated and successful at her job. and walked out of the room. he tells the false story about her death. Moreover. From the male perspective. If he lost his job. At first. He went up and saw Emma under the blankets. On the day that his daughter died. the salesman remembers the day his daughter died. they would not be able to keep up with the same luxurious lifestyle. the woman was the one who was dismissed. Nevertheless. That was exactly what happened. so he killed his daughter hoping that his bosses would sympathise with his tragedy. soon he reveals the true story. dropped the blankets on her. The salesman justifies his crime by claiming that he took the risk for his family.

the salesman and his wife had a new baby boy Joseph. America is nowadays referred to as the most democratic country in the world. not a lot has been accomplished since the age of Ancient Greece. The absurdity of the murder is emphasized by the fact that nine months later. Iphigenia from the Greek tragedy corresponds to the baby from “Iphigenia in Orem. the salesman killed Emma in order to keep his position in the working class. On balance. While in history books. he values his personality according to the money he earns. In the modern society. they play delivers an important message that nothing has changed from the beginnings of civilization. An individual is easily replaced.” Both Agamemnon and the salesman sacrifice their daughters for higher goals. Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter in order to remain loyal to his military troops and on the other. Monetary gain was important at the beginnings of civilization and it is still important now. . the greed for money is the driving force of capitalism. the daughter is replaced by the son. The capitalist system has taught him to be more attached to material things than to human beings.female colleague will be fired. In other words. Greece is described as the founder of democracy. he is dehumanized by the system that he supports. Although modern society claims that it is based on democracy and equality of people. We are still cherishing the capitalist system that does not allow us to achieve true democracy. On one hand. Being able to identify only with objects in his life. As a result.he just wanted to play a practical joke on him. so he has to struggle to keep his job.

In Churchill's „Hospital“. The gang members from „Saved“ direct violence to the weakest one because they were mistreated by their society. They consider themselves to be the dominant members of . it can be concluded that Edward Bond. our culture creates mentally disturbed individuals.CONCLUSION The Goddess Remembered In final consideration. Monsieur and the Police Inspector use violence in order to feel powerful and significant in the system. but it is culturally evoked. Caryl Churchill and Neil LaBute assume that violence towards children and other people is not innate.

their primary deity was female. Therefore. children are either killed or they grow up to be emotionally instable individuals. they never waged wars. and she represented the unity of all life in nature. In addition. He becomes frustrated because he/she lives in a society that will educate him into a tolerance of his frustration. However. the salesman complies with the system and is able to kill his own daughter in order to remain in it. Every newborn comes to this world with the expectation that this world would be a home to him.40 They were on the high level of culture and art and most importantly. He becomes tolerant of violence or violent himself. there were long-lasting and peaceful cultures that lived on the territories of today’s Eastern Europe.youtube. They had a rich religious life.They lived in a world without hierarchy and violence where the dominant feeling was that of love and sharing. destroyed these Signs Out of Time-Maria Gimbutas http://www. compassion and sharing. dignity and pursuit of happiness. the system is irrational and cruel because it violates the individual’s right to freedom. As Marija Gimbutas' research in the field of archaeology discovered. We should reject violence and use instead the feelings of love. before the dawn of Western Civilization. Children were sacred then. the giver of life. we should remember that there is always the third option.to reject the restrictions of the system and to choose to live justly. in „Iphigenia in Oprem“. the bond between a mother and a child could never be broken.com/watch? v=ozaeuULrLjM&feature=PlayList&p=42DD8748183C9B11&index=0&playnext=1 40 . Nevertheless. invasions and warfare. with its conquests. that his needs will be satisfied. civilization. They based their communities on the principle of motherhood.society while in fact they are only marionetes in the hands of the system. both male and female. In the three plays.

Methuen Drama. we should embrace the values of these „pre-civilization“ cultures and try to restore the peace in the world by basing our system on love and not money. children are now used as objects and instruments for gaining power. Edward Bond. 1985 . Reference: 1. As we have seen in the plays.peaceful cultures. 1969 Caryl Churchill. Saved. According to Maria Gimbutas and her many followers. Shorts. The Hospital at the time of Revolution. 2. Methuen & Co LTD.

org/images/previous %20teachers/at_jan08_transgressionFINAL. http://www.pdf Lena Petrovic.3. Marija Gimbutas . London. Faber & Faber Ltd Wole Soyinka. Identity: Writing as renaming. Eyre Methuen Ltd. Bash: Letterday plays. Nobel Prize Lecture. Signs Out of Time. conclusion.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1986/s oyinka-lecture. http://www. Drama from Ibsen to Brecht. Prosveta.co.com/watch? v=ozaeuULrLjM&feature=PlayList&p=42DD8748183C9B11&index=0&pl aynext=1. 7.org/pds/maai3/protest/text12 /barakatheatre. 9. http://nationalhumanitiescenter. Edward. On Writing As Transgression.. The Revolutionary Theatre.playwrightsfoundation. 2004 Raymond Williams.youtube. Iphigenia in Orem. http://www. Bond. Lear. http://nobelprize. Neil LaBute.uk/books/Files/Politics/Discourse %20on%20Colonialism. Culture. 11. 1978 6. 10.bandung2. 5. Literature. 4.pdf Amiri Baraka. Discourse on Colonialism. 8.html Aime Cesaire.pdf Naomi Wallace.

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