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Cloud 9 | Study Guide

Caryl Churchill

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

cloud-9-caryl-churchillCaryl Churchill1979EnglishPlay AuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageCloud 9ComedyGender-bending farce Cloud 9 examines the sexual politics and power struggles of the past two centuries. Act I is set in 1880s Africa, where Englishman Clive and his family feel under attack from the native people and their “perversesexual practices. Traditional roles and expectations fall away a century later in Act II, set in 1979 London.Free to Be You,Me, and WeMAIN CHARACTERSBettyMalcontent wifeand motherGunsRepresent masculinityand powerDollEmbodies femininity andmaternal instinctsBettys NecklaceSymbolizes the traditionally female role of submission in a relationshipPowerClives influence over his family and the native people crumbles in the midst of war and sexual awakenings.FeminismIn Act I, womens lives are dictated by men; by Act II, women are running the show.Sexual IdentityHarry and Edward struggle with their homosexuality; Harry denies his, while Edward accepts his natural attractions.EdwardEffeminate, homosexual sonVictoriaBisexual, angry daughterMaudBettys domineeringmotherMartinVictorias feminist husbandThemesSymbolsBetty, Act I, Scene I am a mans creation as you see, And what men want is what I want to be.AuthorHarryCloseted family friendCliveBettys domineeringhusband and adultererLinLesbian divorcéeSEXUALRELATIONSHIPSEXUALRELATIONSHIPSEXUALRELATIONSHIPSEXUALRELATIONSHIPLOVESCloud 9by the NumbersYear Churchillwon the Obie for Playwriting forCloud 91982Age when Churchill moved to Canada, later moving backto England10Actors who playthe 15 roles insome productionsof the play7Weeks of workshoppingChurchill did before writing Cloud 93Known for her inventive plays, Churchill wrote Cloud 9 during her tenure with the Joint Stock Theatre Group in London. With its fluid roles—males playing females and vice versa, a white man playing a black man—the play explores how Victorian values continue to affect society.CARYL CHURCHILLBORN 1938Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Merriam-Websters Encyclopediaof Literature, New York Times Copyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.

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