The Shape of a Girl

Topics: Abuse, Force, Attack! Pages: 4 (1226 words) Published: May 29, 2013
Critical Analytical Essay

Humans are constantly living under the presence of threatening forces. More often than not, human’s immediate reaction to threatening forces is to escape from it. In her play, The Shape of a Girl, Joan MacLeod demonstrates that an individual often reacts in an inhumane manner towards a moral issue when under the pressure of threatening forces in order to prevent any potential harm. Nevertheless, it is the fear of being harmed that ultimately causes greater damage to oneself; by acting immorally, one may ironically harm oneself more than they might have if they have acted more humanly. All three roles that are included in the bullying of Sofie are affected tremendously by fear caused due to threatening forces. Bradie, the bystander, Sofie the victim, and Adrienne the bully all display their own fear in different ways.

The character that portrays her fear most directly is without a doubt, Bradie. In several situations when Sofie is brutally bullied by Bradie’s best friend Adrienne, she reacts in a heartless way due to her fear of losing Adrienne and ultimately ignoring the bullying. However, Bradie eventually comes to a realization that she is hurting herself even more by ignoring the problem. During the incident at the beach, Adrienne spotted Sofie and savagely attacks her. At this moment, Bradie’s fear causes her to react by ignoring the harassment, and allows Adrienne’s attack to continue. Bradie knows that if she opposes Adrienne in this situation by aiding Sofie, Adrienne will think she is still friends with “IT”. Any action that may hint her alliance towards Sofie may lead to Bradie losing her best friend Adrienne, thus triggering her threatening force. Her instinct activates, and Bradie’s immediate reaction is to allow Adrienne’s attack to continue. Similarly, Sofie is attacked once again by Adrienne in the washroom. However Bradie’s immediate reaction is to “navigate your way to the door using only your peripheral vision”....
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