Supreme Court of the United States and Carol Questions

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Re-read Act 1 from page 34 (Carol: What do you think?) to the end of page 41. Discuss how Mamet presents the significance and the effects of misunderstanding in this extract and at least one other point in the play. Throughout David Mamet’s ‘Oleanna’ the effects of misunderstanding is a central theme. You could say that John’s incapability to listen to and understand Carol’s situation is the reason for the miscommunication in this extract. Whilst Carol is getting upset and tries to explain her dilemma john interrupts her ‘Shhhhh’ even though john is trying to comfort Carol it can be portrayed that he is not letting her confide in him. This is an example of miscommunication because Carol Is trying her best to get her point across but john constantly sways the subject on to something else. The audience could interpret this as john being kind and reassuring her by calming her down, but they could also interpret this as John being domineering by showing he’s not the weak one by being upset. Carols extreme outburst is also a sign of misunderstanding in this extract ‘I DON’T UNDERSTAND’ the result of John’s inability to understand, Carol gets upset and angry and responds aggressively. The roles have switched it seems as if John is the student getting told off by a teacher which results in a shift of power as Carol stands up for herself. The audience could be shocked by Carols response as the play was released in the early 1990’s where behaviour was different compared to this century you wouldn’t expect a student to respond like that towards someone who is in power. It could be seen as the characters lack of clear communication is the result of a possible non-existent issue. John is supposedly to have behaved inappropriate towards Carols resulting in a sexual harassment claim. As John attempt to comfort Carol, she feels as it is inappropriate. The release of the play was shortly after Clarence Thomas's 1991 U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Mamet...
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