Themes.pptx - THE DRESSMAKER/ THE CRUCIBLE COMPARISON OF...

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THE DRESSMAKER/THE CRUCIBLECOMPARISON OF THEMES
CENTRAL THEMESFear & HysteriaJudgement, Justice & ForgivenessBelonging & IdentityTruth & LiesTraditional Gender RolesInsular World ViewsAppearance VS RealityLove & LoyaltyRetribution & Revenge
FEAR/HYSTERIAHysteria can often be colloquially de-valued as a temper tantrum, but historically the termhas been recognised as a legitimate mental illness (particularly in females)“Hystera” is the latin term for “womb” and as such predominately associated with women.From this we get terms such as hysterectomy and hysterical.Hysteria was first diagnosed as a physical illness in 1900BC, and became recognised as amental illness in the 1500s.Hysteria is often portrayed as highly contagious, as the heightened emotions and panic canspread easily through a group of people.
FEAR/HYSTERIA IN THE CRUCIBLEMary Warren describes the classic onset of symptoms that mark her first hysterical episode in court: ‘a mistycoldness’ (Act 2), crawling flesh, a choking sensation, dissociation, ‘a screaming voice’ (Act 2) and then therealisation that the voice was her own.Abigail calculates the most effective moment to stage her hysterical visions of persecution. She manages tohold power over the community and as Elizabeth observes ‘where she [Abigail] walks the crowd will part for herlike the sea for Israel’ (Act 2).Mary Warren confirms the notion that the girls are enjoying their newfound power when she speaks of the‘weighty work’ (Act 2) that the girls do in court as they claim to be hunting the ‘Devil [that is] loose in Salem’(Act 2).Strategically, Abby and the other girls use this power to their advantage, ‘scream[ing] and fall[ing] to the floor’(Act 2) when the accused are brought before them.In the same way, Abby and the others point with fear into the rafters of the courthouse during the final courtscene, screaming with fright in the belief that Mary Warren has conjured herself as a small yellow bird that Abbywails ‘want[s] to tear my [her] face’ (Act 3).
FEAR/HYSTERIA IN THE DRESSMAKERThe town of Dungatar become madly enthralled with the dressmaker Tilly after it becomes evident at Gertrudeand William’s wedding that she is ‘an absolute wizard with fabric and scissors’ (Part 2) and the right creation forthe bride-to-be was magnificent enough to make her feel ‘safe’ (Part 2) and secure that her groom would notstray from her.Tilly’s bespoke creations become much sought after as women begin to see the power that the seductive gownsdesigned specifically for them are able to do; making them feel confident whilst also ‘bewitching’ the men.Elsbeth and Gertrude’s appearance wearing ridiculously unsuitable dresses ‘huge and domed in yards and yardsof taffeta’ (Part 2) coincides with Gertrude announcing that she be hereon known as Trudy, in a chameleon likeshift from the mousy daughter of a store owner to fashion extraordinaire.

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Term
Winter
Professor
Divine Grace C. Concillado
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