Sexual Harassment and Carol

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Not Guilty
“There is no greater injustice then the false accusation, the innocent suffer the persecution of the guilty when they have done nothing wrong.(Caryn)” This statement seems especially self evident in reference to David Mamet’s “Oleanna”. In “Oleanna“, a college professor simply referred to as John, is falsely accused of sexual harassment and eventually rape. Yet, no real sign of sexual contact, rape, or sexual phrases seem to appear through out David Mamet’s play. Which is why John is in no way shape or form, guilty of the pending charges. The charges are brought forth by a student named Carol. She is performing poorly in his class, and as a result she decides to consult him about the class, and the material. John gives her the offer of a second chance and to help her pass the class, if she is willing to put in the effort. However, instead of choosing to take John’s help, she decides to falsely accuse John of sexual harassment. The reason why appears to consist of John’s over eagerness to help, Carol not understanding the material , and a hidden agenda that Carol seems to posses.

Starting with the definition, “Sexual harassment is harassment or unwelcome attention of a sexual nature. It includes a range of behavior from mild transgressions and annoyances to serious abuses, which can even involve forced sexual activity("Sexual Harassment").” With that said, in what way did John sexually harass Carol? In the first scene of “Oleanna”, John and Carol proceed to engage in a rather heated discussion regarding the courses material. As a result, Carol apparently begins to revert to the age of a five year old and throw a temper tantrum. In hopes of calming her down, John does put his hands on Carol, and makes her sit down. The display of physical restraint does calm Carol down eventually and so they both move on with the conversation. Granted, John’s display of physical restraint could resemble sexual harassment, yet clearly their was...
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