Lauren Essay

Re-read act 3 from page 75 (I think that…) to the end. How effective might an audience find this extract as an ending to the play? Towards the end of the play we see that roles have reversed between Carol and John. In act 1, at the beginning of the play Carol goes to John for help as she find it’s difficult to understand John’s book and she is failing the course. However, implications are caused in act 3 when Carol explains to John that she wants to ban his book. ‘’We want it removed from inclusion as a representative example of the university. ’ The fact that Carol says ‘’we’’ shows that she is talking on behalf of her group and not just herself, this changes the idea of a student teacher relationship because Carol has brought it to a more of a personal level by trying to ban his book. The way that John reacts to this is in a more emotional way, this is shown by the capitalisation of the word ‘’look,’’ and also seems to get frustrated with Carol as he is trying to help solve the problems that she has with John, ‘’I’m reading all your demands. All right!? ’ shows the frustration in John’s voice, it is almost as if John just wants Carol to get off his back just so he can get his head around Carol wanting to ban his book. You can see clearly that the tone in John’s voice soon changes when he says ‘’Get the fuck out of my office. ’’ John has become more angered now rather than emotional with Carol’s complaint, yet Carol still seems to be a lot more confident in the way she is speaking at the beginning of the play. In act 1 John would always talk over Carol, and almost not give her chance to speak what she thought and John would over power her and dominate the conversation.

But now the roles have reversed and it is John who is in the emotional position and carol is dominant in the way she speaks and this is seen in the language that is used throughout act 3. On page you can see how tension is suddenly built, John tells Carol that he has not been home for two days and Carol’s response to this is ‘’…you haven’t? ’’ and the fact that Carol repeats this three time ‘’…you haven’t been home? ’’ ‘’…you haven’t been home in two days? ’’ shows that Carol is thinking about the reality of what she has done.

The telephone plays an important role in the play and particularly in act 3 were tension is built until John is told he has been charged of rape. Before John picks up the phone Carol says ‘’…you’d better get that phone. I think that you should pick up the phone. ’’ This may show that Carol knows what is coming, and she would rather someone else tell John rather than herself. Once John comes off of the phone, Carol immediately says ‘’I thought you knew. ’’ This adds emotion to the conversation; it’s as if for a moment Carol has second thoughts about what she has done.

John obviously still thinks he is dealing with the tenure committee, ‘’what. (Pause) what does it mean. (Pause)’’ John is shocked over the rape charge and this is shown in the language that he uses as he does not have much to say, or does not know what to say. Carol says ‘’You tried to rape me. (Pause) According to the law. (Pause)’’ what Carol is saying that the situation is not in her power, according to law the John tried to rape her and it’s become into the power of the law. ‘’You tried to rape me. I was leaving this office, you ‘’pressed’’ yourself into me.

You ‘’pressed’’ your body into me. ’’ Is this is what Carol thinks rape is? It could be seen as Carol is doing all this for revenge, for John not listening to what she had to say when she turned to him for help, and this is how she is getting back at him. ‘’My group has told your lawyer that we may pursue criminal charges. ’’ Yet again, Carol mentions ‘’we’’ which shows that she is speaking on behalf of others, and not just herself, does her group agree that John had raped her by ‘’pressing against her’’ too? John’s tone of voice has yet again turned to an emotional one.

With words like ‘’…I…’’ and ‘’…no…’’ suggests that he still upset and in shock about the criminal charges that has been made against him, realising that there is a chance of him losing his job, his house, maybe even his family. John asks Carol to leave the room, and she replies with ‘‘Of course. I thought you knew. ’’ The phone rings again, and John answers it and whilst on the phone John says to Carol to get out, yet she still stays, Carol asks John ‘’…your wife…? ’’ and John asks her to leave two more times before Carol actually says ‘’I’m going. ’ And as she leaves she says ‘’and don’t call your wife ‘’baby. ’’ This has taken the situation to a more personal level because Carol has involved John’s wife who should be to no concern of hers, and this has clearly angered John and the strongest power a man has over a woman is physical power. John completely loses it, stage directions are not used throughout the play yet towards the end of this scene stage directions are used. (CAROL starts to leave the room. JOHN grabs her and begins to beat her) the words ‘’grabs’’ and ‘’beat’’ are harsh words and immediately creates an image in our head of what John is doing to Carol. (He knocks her to the floor) John is now over powering herself with a more physical power. (He picks up a chair, raises it above his head, and advances on her) John has clearly lost control with Carol and is resorting to a chair to try and hurt her even more than he already has. ‘’I wouldn’t touch you with a ten-foot pole. You little cunt. ’’ This is quite an offensive term, Johns making his message that he would not even want to touch her with a ten-foot pole let alone rape her.

Another stage direction is put in here and it says; (She cowers on the floor below him. He looks down at her. He lowers the chair. He moves to his desk, arranges the papers on it. Pause. He looks over at her) Here, I think it has actually sunk in and John realises what he has done, and the fact that it says he looks down at her sounds like he is put in a powerful position once again, because she is on the floor helpless and he is standing over her. Then Carol says ‘’Yes. That’s right. ’ And she says this twice, this may be looked at as if she wanted it to turn out this way, she knows that John knows will now most defiantly lose his job, or it could be looked at as if she is reminding John of what he has done, yes that’s right, you did just physically hit me. From research, it is known that audiences actually applauded when John hit Carol to the floor which hardly seems like the right thing to do. This may show how people agreed with the fact that John should have hit Carol after she brought things to a more personal level or that it was not John’s fault that he had turned to violence as Carol had provoked him.

However, the audience may have thought that there was no need for such violence as Carol has turned into something John had always wanted her to be. For example, if John believed in ‘’freedom of speech’’ wasn’t that just what Carol was doing, she was speaking her mind and standing up for what she had believed in? Even if John did not agree with the ideas Carol had, like banning his book, or accusing him of rape because John did rape her, ‘’according to the law. ’’


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