Claude's Journey of Self-Realization

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Yang Zhai
November 9th 2012
Mr. Kunin
Claude’s journey of self-realization
An essay on the play Hosanna by Michel Tremblay
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Hosanna, a play written by the French-Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay, deals with complex personal and social issues. The main character Claude Lemieux is a transvestite who cross-dresses as Hosanna the drag queen. After attending a Halloween party with Cuirette, his homosexual biker boyfriend, Claude returns to his single room apartment in Plaza Saint-Hubert, which is filled with an atmosphere of “sadness and solitude” (Hosanna 7). Despite the difficulties and struggles gay minority face in society, Claude Lemieux overcomes many challenges that lead to the acceptance of his identity. To begin with, Claude proves that he is strong enough to bear the society’s judgement on homophobia. Long in the history of Quebec, gay rights has been a huge issue in Quebec, where the society has little or no toleration towards this gay minority. Since Claude dissatisfies the image of what is considered a “norm”, he faces many challenges and pressure for his identity and therefore uses Hosanna as a glamorous mask to cover his sexuality. Ever since Claude was young, he was often bullied by his classmates at school. I was in grade seven at Ste-Eustache, and they used to laugh at me because I looked so much like a girl…No, I don’t think about it much anymore. They were just a bunch a sick perverts anyways… (51). In addition, for the fact that Claude’s own mother did not support him, has left a huge impact on Claude’s life when his revealed his sexuality. You know what she said to me when I told her I’d begun to sleep with men? She said, ‘if that’s the way you want to be, Claude, just make sure they are good looking’ that’s it, no other words. And she figured she could hold on to me (52). Claude’s mother used to adore his son so much, that she is afraid of giving him away when he gets married. But, when Claude needs...
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