Thomson Highway's The Rez Sisters
Works Cited Not Included
The play The Rez Sisters is written by one of Canada's most celebrated playwrights, Tomson Highway. Highway was born in 1951 in northwestern Manitoba. He went on to study at the University of Manitoba and graduated from the University of Western Ontario, with honors in Music and English. Native Literature is inspired by 'contemporary social problems facing native Canadians today; alcohol and drug abuse, suicide, wife battering, family violence, the racism of the justice system, loneliness, rejection, youth awareness, as well as modern-day environmental issues.';(P. 172 Native Literature in Canada.) Highway once said, 'We grew up with myths. They're the core of our identity as …show more content…
174 Native Literature in Canada.)
The play involves seven very lively and funny women, who live on the Wasaychigan Hill Indian Reserve, Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Their lives consist of knowing everybody's business. 'Nothing is private or sacred to them, they know each other's sex habits, health problems, family histories and daily routines.'; (P. 174 Native Literature in Canada.) When they play begins we are given an over view of what it like on the reserve by a pictorous description, 'from here I can see half of Manitoulin Island?I can see the chimneys, the tops of apple trees, the garbage heap behind Big Joey's dumpy little house?';(P. 2 The Rez Sisters) The reserve has a bit of everything, a good side and a bad side.
During the play we learn that the Rez Sisters make life bearable on the reserve by playing bingo. From this we learn about their lives and dreams. We learn what they want individually in life, and where they would go and what they would do if they had the opportunity. The play gives the reader in sight to what each of the woman want. Marie-Adele is a 39-year-old woman who says if she had the money she would, 'Buy an island.'; (P. 36 The Rez Sisters) I fell she wants this because she wants to escape from everybody, the reserve and from the regular population. Veronique is the mother of one of the other characters in the play, Zahaboonigan, who is mentally disabled. Veronique wants to buy
In the first chapter, the point of view continues to switch between characters. Each time it changes, it gives you a glimpse into the character’s thoughts when they’re on their way to Indian Island. Each character has been told they’re going to the island for different reasons. It’s seen they are being conned into some sort of situation to go to Indian Island. Each of them don’t understand what they’re about to walk into. In the second chapter, when they arrive at the mansion, each guest goes to their rooms. One of the guest, Vera Claythorne, sees there is a nursery rhyme that she knows of from her childhood called, “Ten Little Indians”. It seems each of the guest have the poem hung on their wall. I find it interesting that the nursery rhyme
The girls find St. Lucy’s home an exciting, new environment and have fun for the most part. They are ultimately unhappy. This is evident when the girls spray “exuberant yellow streams all over” (225). Everything for the girls is sudden and chaotic. The narrator, Claudette, says their “noses ached beneath an invisible assault” (Russell 227-228).
King uses the comical phrase “Looking for some excitement?” (203) to express that the white men view this problem as an unusual form of pleasure, which seems outrageously nonsensical at first but gives the basis of the principle that will be revealed more noticeable as the story commences. Although a moral involving unfortunate racial stereotypes does not appear to be a comical subject, Wallace presents in her article, “The definition of tragedy is also determined by the audience response,” (203) which offers insight into King’s subtle, yet effective comedic strategy that allows his audience to engross themselves in the humour of the issue before contemplating the tragic theme. In fact, many writers have articulated the struggles that Natives have experienced since the arrival of Europeans to Canada, but King’s short story has a uniquely creative and clever style that communicates a long running issue in Canada in an amusingly successful manner. Had King presented his goal frankly and non-metaphorically, the audience likely would have responded in a somber way, and would treat the writing just like any other historical literature they have ever read. Therefore, the strategy of not presenting the context in a tragic matter truly gives the reader an opportunity to realize how comically impractical the stereotyping of Natives really is, and how it should not continue in society. It may not be literally comical, but this
The Play is a great example of our Canadian Identity as it shows that even being separate and barely even knowing people we still can create and have a good time. The play also shows that even being lost and confused about who we are, we don’t assume right away of the current Scenario. In the Book, Barb With the help from Tonto and Rodney broke into Janice’s Home. In a normal situation, Janice would call the police as she would think they are breaking in to steal from her, but instead she hears them out and listens to
As hardworking women living of the prairie, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters can relate to Mrs. Wright’s situation. They know personally that long days of doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning can become very tiresome (Hedges 91). They realize that living on the prairie can force a woman to be confined to her own house for weeks at a time, and because Mrs. Wright never had children, the grueling loneliness that she suffered must have been excruciating. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters both experience the constant patronization and sexual discrimination that most women in the early twentieth century lived with. They empathize with the difficulties of Mrs. Wright’s life and almost immediately a bond is formed with a woman they do not even know.
At first glance, Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, and Henrik Isben’s A Doll House seem to have nothing in common. However, the short story and plays have many similarities. Particularly, five women from these tales— Louise Mallard, Minnie Wright, Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Hale, and Nora Helmer—make drastic decisions that appear to be motiveless. Without context, any reader could be confused by Louise’s death, Nora’s departure, and Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale’s unanimous effort to cover up the murder that Minnie Wright committed, which also seems to lack serious motive. However, all of these women’s settings, situations, and lives have connections that make their motives similar. Emotion motivates all five women—not just
The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway’s is a play about seven women who are very close considering each other sister. The sisters live on a reserve. The personalities of each sister are different as they all have different ideas of what they would do with the money. The seven women organize a road trip to Toronto participating in “THE BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD”. Each woman dreams of winning the bingo jackpot and the life changing fortunes it will bring them. “THE BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD" is always capitalized in the play; this shows the importance of Bingo in Toronto, as it is a way out of a horrible life for the sisters. Within The Rez Sisters the key exploration of ideas involves dreams and ambitions. Each character chooses to discuss
“Trifles” is a perplexing drama that begins with a murder in a midwestern farmhouse. John Wright is found dead with a knot tied perfectly around his neck. In this one act play, Susan Glaspell, reveals the truth of women's suffrage during the early twentieth century. Women are restricted when it comes to individual rights. Without being able to vote, be a part of a jury, and working mostly out of their home, women have the unfair disadvantage in life. “Trifles” shows the treatment women undergo. The main theme of “Trifles” is the contrast of genders, stereotypes, and how view each other’s role.
The play ?Trifles?, by Susan Glaspell , is an examination of the different levels of early 1900?s mid-western farming society?s attitudes towards women and equality. The obvious theme in this story is men discounting women?s intelligence and their ability to play a man?s role, as detectives, in the story. A less apparent theme is the empathy the women in the plot find for each other. Looking at the play from this perspective we see a distinct set of characters, a plot, and a final act of sacrifice.
In Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007) a teenage boy named Junior, explains his struggle of breaking the cycle of his indigenous people and moving between an Indian American reservation (the ‘rez’) and a mainstream school in a town called Reardon. The protagonist explains, through first-person accounts, his life on the reservation and his experiences as he attempts to break the cycle of alcoholism and poverty that is imposed on him merely because he is an Indigenous American. One theme that remains constant throughout the novel is that of lack of hope that the Indians have for their futures, they see no need for dreams or hopes as, for them, there is no way that they can achieve any more than any of their ancestors. Another theme that is present through Part-Time Indian is poverty and the cycle of negative events that lead to it continuing. This leads to the Indigenous Americans having no hope. An extremely broad theme that is present in this novel is identity. Junior explains very simply how being Native American leads to his peoples’ inevitable poverty. There are many aspects in Part-Time Indian where some actions and habits are considered normal.
One of the play’s main characters, Blanche, has by no means had an easy adulthood. She has had to deal with her sister setting off to New Orleans with her new husband, the death of her father, losing her own husband, and the loss of their family’s beloved plantation, Belle Reve. With all of this going on, Blanche disguises her pain and delusion, and pretends that is does not exist. In a way,
By using a play by play of the scenes in the play, the article pays close attention to the “trifles” the women paid close attention to while the men ridiculed them for it. The article also mentions how, “women’s responsibilities and concerns tend to remain somewhat distinct from men’s.” Because of this
Immediately upon the men’s arrival from their hunting trip, Liz is filled with anxiousness and excitement. Once again Mrs. Smith and Liz fixed dinner, while the men waited in the front drinking whiskey and waiting to be served. After eating, in the stereotypical feministic world, the men went back into the living room while the women stayed behind to clean up. After everything was cleaned and everyone had their fill of the night, the Smith’s went to bed leaving Jim, Liz and Mr. Charley behind. Jim left Mr. Charley in the living room and headed to the kitchen where Liz remained.
It’s a hot, sticky summer afternoon in Iowa in 1910. A woman stands in the kitchen cleaning the grease from her husband’s daily work. After finally managing to make her newborn lay down for a nap, her husband busts through the front door, waking the baby. While comforting the baby, she asks her husband what his reason is for making such a ruckus. Ignoring the question, he asks for his cigars. She hands them to him as he walks out the front door. He says that he is going back to town to fetch some things. She asks if she can go with him since she’s been at home all day, but he denies her request by saying that she needs to be at home with the baby and not busy with other unimportant things. This is what women of that time and even some women now would experience in their daily life. Gender inequality has always been occurring, and it is a major obstacle being tackled today. Problems with the education system, workforce, and marriages have existed for many years, and the feminist movement was created to combat these problems. Susan Glaspell’s Trifles is one of the first feminist pieces of literature. Many themes arise in the one-act play, but the most important theme is the idea of gender separation. In the play Trifles, Glaspell uses mystery to display the theme of gender separation and to uncover an implicit conflict.