What is Oleanna? Essay

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What is Oleanna?

What is Oleanna ? Is it a perfect world, or is it a world… The play

Olenna by David Mamet gives us a real perspective on our modern

education system and society. John the white male college professor is the

victim in this play. And Carol the female student is the fascist. John is an

exceptional teacher that love to teach and refuse to let the fascist takeover

the academic freedom of our education.

Early in the play, both John and Carol are distracted by their personal

interests. John is buying a new house to go with his tenure announcement.

However, the house has not gone through, and the tenure committee has not

Signed. Therefore, John is rushed, and unable to
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The test

people encounter in school, and in life were designed by idiots for idiots.

" They are a test of your ability to retain and spout back misinformation. Of

course, you fail them. They're nonsense." John says. And Carol

responds: "…no…" In this case John is trying provoke Carol and to let her

know that we should question the orthodox, and the very things that we take

for granted. And how education has become a ritual, "something-other-than-

useful." That's because we believe we are all entitled to higher education.

Therefore, Carol does not know what is going on in her class. and what it

means to be in college.

Later on, Carol asks John about her grades. John realizes that the grade

was a distraction for her, and the most important thing is to awake her

interest. John wants Carol to stop copying notes, and just repeating it back to

him. He wants her to use her own words. He is telling her once she has interest in the subject she is studying; she'll have confidence, and eventually

starts succeeding. John gives an example of how he have work his way out

of the need to fail. He quotes " If I fail all the time, it must be that I think of

myself as a failure. If I do not want to think of myself as a failure,

perhaps I should begin by succeeding now and again."

In the second half of the play, Carol unconsciously learns from John.

And she
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