Themes Depicted in the Play "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll" Essay

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"Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll" is a timeless play as it can be transposed to be as relevant today as when it was written. The play is definitely a tragi-comedy but more than the ideas raised in the statement the play is about change and the inability for some to deal with it, the battle between dream and reality and loyalty and mateship. It also serves as a social document of Australia in the 1950s. Lawler uses symbols, the actions of the characters, the structure of the play and mise-en-scene to effectively portray his feelings to the audience.

The main theme expressed in the play is change and the characters' inability to cope with this. Like many working-class people from this time the characters in the play are fairly uneducated
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She embraced the change that was happening and Olive mistakes this for treachery. The downfall of the characters (especially Olive) really is rather tragic. In the final scene Roo accepts that change - as much as he does not want it - must happen, he asks Olive to marry him. Her dreams are now shattered and she sees Roo as the one who has taken them from her; "I want what I had before. You give it back to me - give me back what you've taken." (Pg. 93) Change is inevitable and a person has to learn that the same pattern of living cannot serve them feasibly forever.

"Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll" a battle between dreams and reality. The characters are living in a dream world where everything - for them - is perfect. This, of course, is until Pearl comes along and sees through the thin façade of their existence; Glamorous nights!" (Pg. 57) she scoffs at their seemingly pathetic excuse for a New Years' Eve party. She is the classic realist in the play, as is Emma, and brings reality to the characters lives. These two also create an exceptional contrast and help to magnify Olive's illusions. Olive's dream of living a carefree life forever is shattered when she is brought down to a reality which she refuses to accept; the lay-off season is not what it once was, and Roo is no longer the Aussie hero she thought him to be. His dream is to always be "top dog" in the cane

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