– the only source required is the play A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen – this is a critical thinking essay and an thesis is required Conduct research into the history of the play, the playwright, and the world around it. Write a two to three page comprehensive essay on the play. The following questions are intended to guide you towards creating your essay. Read the play. Think about the questions. Do some research. Choose a strong thesis, and provide evidence to support your statements. Do not just write a “play by play” synopsis of the story, and don’t just answer the questions below. I am not interested in that. I am interested in your critical thinking abilities. I am interested in what you think, what you feel, and what you’ve learned from reading the play and researching the world around it. Questions to think about: (You don’t have to answer every question, these are meant to make you think.) What is the plot structure of the play? What style of drama is it? What are the themes, metaphors, and symbols found in the play? Who is the playwright? What is his story? What influenced him to write this play? Is this play based a true story? What made this play controversial when it was first published? What makes this play relevant today? Is this a feminist play? (If you don’t know exactly what feminism is, I encourage you to look it up.) Why is the ending referred to as “the door slam heard around the world”? How does this play reflect on society? What kind of society surrounds this story? What role does love play into this story? What kind of relationship do the characters have with each other? What kind of language does the playwright use to illustrate relationship? What is the difference between what is right, and what is duty? What sort of emotion does this play bring up for you? Which character do you relate to the most? What aspect of society do the characters represent? How does this fit into the world of realism? What sort of acting challenges does this play present? What makes this play different than the type of plays of past centuries? Anything else you want to think/write about?
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House: A Play in Three Acts. London, 1890. After reading the play, identify a character who, regardless of the consequences, takes a significant risk. In a well-developed essay reflecting an argumentative style (one that establishes a position supported by evidence), describe the risk and its motivation. Explain how the characters action illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. Note: Avoid merely stating a plot summary. Instead, focus on analysis and critical thinking of the themes and motivation of this play by Henrik Ibsen. Identify a character who took a significant risk. Develop an argument, using the argumentative style of writing. Use compelling evidence from the play and analytical thinking to support your position.
Why talk about this now? It is incredibly easy for both Men and Women to become incredibly defensive about the some of the themes and intense descriptions of sexuality (both violent and intimate) in the Vagina Monologues or when then discussion comes up in daily life. Resist the initial urge to defend yourself and others (which often happens when students begin to learn about this material for the first time). There is no need to jump the conclusions of “Not all men are like that”, “I have never seen a man act that way”, “My husband would never do that”, “It’s not fair to bash ALL men”, “I think this idea of ‘Rape Culture’ is a myth”. (all of these are responses I have gotten in the past). This kind of blanket defense for all acts of sexual violence and oppression leads to rampant indifference and has created an illusion of immunity for those in power to abuse those who are not. Look no further then the trial of Harvey Weinstein, the initial accusations kicking of the #metoo movement. There is a safety and comfort in ignoring these topics that allows the “indifference of good men” to further the oppression of others (in this case, Women in general). I as re-write and edit this course I cannot ignore the current events happening in the news today. The testimony from the Harvey Weinstein trial is on the front page of many news outlets and it’s contents directly relate to this course and the work begun by Eve Ensler many years ago. The following is from the Chicago Tribune by way of the Associated Press, Jan 31st, 2020: Harvey Weinstein accuser testifies that he raped her twice, once yelling ‘You owe me! “The first time, the heavyset Hollywood tycoon trapped her in a New York hotel room in March 2013, angrily ordered her to undress as he loomed over her, and then raped her, she told jurors. Still, she kept in touch, sending him flattering emails, because his ego was so fragile, she said, and it made me feel safe, worshipping him in this sense. I wanted to be perceived as innocent and naive. Then, eight months later at a Los Angeles hotel where she worked as a hairdresser, she told Weinstein that she was dating an actor, she said.You owe me one more time! he screamed, she told jurors. She said she begged him not to take off her clothes, but he said, I dont have time for games https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-harvey-weinstein-trial-20200131-3dgfpq5ih5en3kihzbtzqfjjza-story.html (Links to an external site.) YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Click the play icon on the video below or on the link below entitled “the Vagina Monologues” to watch The Vagina Monologues. https://youtu.be/xTfiuIvHgXI You will then be responding and answering the prompts that follow. 1) What is your opinion about Ensler’s performance of the Vagina Monologues? What do you feel she is successful at? (Give Specifics!) Do you feel any of the controversies listed previously have weight or are they missing the point entirely? Relate this play to the current climate of 2020, what do you think works and relates? Is there anything that you feel needs updating? 2 Paragraph min. 2) Have any of your opinions or preconceived notions about this Play (or dare I say Vaginas) changed? What are some of the subjects of the piece that challenge or offend you? why or why not? (if Not, then what are they, and how were they reinforced). (Explain) 2 Paragraphs min
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