An Innocent Man Wronged in Oleanna Essay

1246 Words 5 Pages
Sometimes there are events in our lives that we cannot control. These events occur, more or less, due to our own actions. Sometimes, however, we must come to terms with our inability to handle certain situations and also to reach our goals. These events are facts of life everyone: some people can't run as fast, or lift as much, or write as well. It is during these times that we must focus on what we can do well, and try to direct our goals around those features that make us good at something. In David Mamet's Oleanna, John loses his job and his house due to Carol's ignorance, lack of self-confidence, and overall inability to come to terms with her own short-comings as a student. This play epitomizes an act of complete degradation based …show more content…
John and Carol are having a conversation about various topics and John tries to get Carol to express some kind of opinion on the subject:
John: Well, let's address that. What do you think? Carol: I don't know. John: What do you think, though? (pause) Carol: I don't know.
That exchange of dialogue on page 29 sums up Carol's lack of self-confidence. She won't even take the plunge, and try to talk about a subject brought up in class. John tries to get her to give an opinion on a subject that carol obviously doesn't understand, in an attempt to help her comprehend. Carol doesn't believe that she has any ability, or else she would have at least tried to answer his question, a question that isn't hard in and of itself to understand--What do you think? Other examples of her total lack of self-confidence can be found earlier in the play: "…and I walk around. From morning 'til night: with this one thought in my head. I'm stupid (12)." What kind of person thinks of themselves as stupid, all the time? Carol obviously has no confidence in her abilities to do anything, and she feels that everyone around her thinks she's stupid as well. On the very next page even, Carol accuses John of calling her stupid. She is so deliberate in her belief that she takes what John says out of context, and turns it into an insult against her. Carol
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