Literary Analysis Of Marsha Norman 's ' The Secret Garden '

1922 WordsDec 7, 20148 Pages
Dylan Stasack American Theatre and Drama 12/10/14 Final Paper Marsha Norman is no stranger to writing female-centric theatre. From the Tony-nominated The Color Purple, to the Tony Award-winning The Secret Garden, to the Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘night Mother, strong female characters and women’s issues reign supreme among her canon of work. Her 1977 piece Getting Out, the story of a female ex-con released from prison and attempting to rewrite the story of her life, is no exception. In fact, Getting Out can be considered a liberal feminist critique of American society. Before making the jump to liberal feminism, though, it must be established whether or not Getting Out is even a piece of feminist theatre at all. Yes, Norman writes strong material for women, but what exactly are the characteristics of a feminist dramatic work? As a starting point, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” That doesn’t necessarily mean that in order to qualify as a piece of feminist theatre, a work must explicitly present a character’s conscious struggle for gender equality as a central plot point. Feminism in the theatre should be considered more broadly, applying the idea of “equal rights and opportunities” to the theatre as a whole, a field that is dominated by male-centricity while female characters are often less than three-dimensional and defined by their relationships to male characters. Therefore, if a

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