The Removalists Essay - Stereotypes

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Australian dramas, such as David Williamson’s “The Removalists”, inclination to depend on stereotypes is not a weakness, but instead an opportunity to explore personal and societal issues. The inclusion of stereotypes within the play does not hinder the exploration of these issues, but instead deepens the audiences understanding and awareness. Through familiar roles, such as the ‘Oker’ identity, Williamson heightens the play, and allows a production to focus on the themes being explored. By using stereotyped characters in contrast with realistic characters and style, Williamson effectively comment on the faults of society without the distraction of character complexity. The Oker character is used by Williamson as a tool to allow the audience to relate immediately to the character. When considering staging this production, Williamson aims to have the audience identify these characters as members within their society, and through the stereotype this is effectively achieved. The character Kenny is an example of the Oker stereotype used in the play, and he demonstrates the rude, brash, sexist, beer drinking typical Australian male. The function of Kenny is to make the audience feel awkward and cringe through the use of dialogue, such as “… get a piece of sliced cow…put it under the grill you lazy bitch.” Kenny is made more accessible to the audience when presented as a stereotyped character, as the audience feel they know this personality and can form easily an opinion on whether or not he is a likeable character. When presenting the audience with these stereotypes, the audience feels safe and sure in their understanding which allows them to focus on the issues being dealt with in the play. I learnt firsthand about the effective use of stereotyping to present a point during a workshop exploring differing perspectives on Australians. During this workshop we explored three concepts: how Australians think they are seen; how Australians want to be seen; and how...
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