Summer of the Seventeenth Doll Essay

August 22, 2017 Religion

? Summer of the Seventeenth Doll premiered on 28th November 1955 at the Russell Street Theatre in Melbourne? Before the 1950s. really small Australian work was produced on Australian phases and frequently a whole twelvemonth would travel by without a individual work by an Australian making the commercial phase. ? The Doll was a success in portion because it gave its audiences unmistakably Australian characters in a familiar scene. talking with their ain speech patterns. and stating their ain narratives. ?

After a successful season in Melbourne. and with endorsing from the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. the drama opened in Sydney. and so toured around Australia. playing in Brisbane. Adelaide. Perth. Hobart and Launceston. every bit good as throughout state countries. ? Demand for the drama was so strong. that in 1956. several extra companies of histrions were formed. who toured the drama at the same time. Style Naturalism and Realism We see what happens every bit close as possible to existent life Note usage of slang and linguistic communication by the characters – the Aussie slang labels it as being clearly Australian.

Note the usage of costume and put – note alteration of costume for Pearl as she feels more comfy with the state of affairs – from her ‘good black’ to her more insouciant vesture. Besides note the set description including the encroaching verdure – possibly symbolic of the world that is besides irrupting on their semblance. The butterflies and birds and other ornaments all contribute to the semblance. and are portion of what destroys the ideal of the lay-off season for Olive. Naturalism – & gt ; slang. linguistic communication. set. dress up approximates existent life. natural linguistic communication beat etc.

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Realism – & gt ; looks at existent state of affairss and dealingss ; explores the poetic dimension including the symbolism of the drama. Use of Symbolism Olive’s metaphors of bird of Joves and kings the sing-along called off ; the sing-along would hold been a typical thing for people to make in those times. and possibly its being called off has something to make with the attenuation of the dream and the old times they had. Besides consider the wordss in the vocal they sing – “There’s a gold mine in the sky. Far off ; We will happen it. you and I. Some sweet twenty-four hours.

” There is acrimonious sarcasm here which the characters recognise. the battle between Roo and Barney ; through this we can see that there is more between them than they have really spoken about. The battle they have is a release of the tenseness that they can experience intensifying in the fact that they have to set up a forepart for the misss. the dolls and the shattering of the 17th doll ; At the beginning we see them as cute. kitsch reminders of the merriment the group has each twelvemonth. a fun tradition. but as the drama progresses. we can see that there is more to these dolls than first appears.

They become brooding of Olive’s infantile dreams. and go hollow. dry reminders of what she has lost. particularly when Pearl pays out their summer. However. when Roo by chance breaks the vase incorporating the 17th doll at the terminal of Act Two. we can see that the dream is vulnerable and delicate like the doll. and can be broken excessively. And in a concluding symbolic gesture. as he smashes it at the terminal of Act Three. we see that this is existent. and the dream is shattered. Classical tradition of ‘the Unites’ Aristotelian thought Unity of clip ( two darks. one summer ) Integrity of topographic point ( in one room ) .

Integrity of character and action ( focal points on six people and their jobs ) Tragedy Tragedy of the common adult male – we see the basically good individual brought down by their fatal defect – pride for Roo. idealism for Olive. inarticulateness for all the characters. Well-made drama Has a clear expounding or debut of the basic state of affairs. so a development of the major issues and struggles. flood tides to stop each Act. and these flood tides edifice to the major flood tide when Olive’s dream is shattered wholly. There is so the denouement. or the declaration of the play’s subjects.

Humour This is used in the drama to buoy up minutes which could go excessively heavy in melodrama or mawkishness. and do characters more single ; e. g. compare Barney’s crude sense of temper with Olive’s light tempers. We can besides contrast the amusing parts with the distressing parts. and see possibly a glance of what the old summers have been like. Through the Play Act One This is the expounding. where the state of affairs is presented to us. and we can larn about the characters and what they add to this state of affairs ; how they fit in with the strategy of things.

Pearl is evidently an foreigner. who is dressed to affect. and acts as a character through whom we can larn what is go oning. and what has happened in the past. We can see she is nervous. and we appreciate this. because we realise what a unusual agreement this must be as seen by society. and notice that it is frowned on ab initio by Pearl. ’I’m non allowing myself in for any awful muss. either. ‘who relaxes somewhat through the scene. We can see that Olive is a dreamer. and has a steadfast ideal of the lay-off. and how it should continue. She paints a portrayal of the work forces for us. ”…

the regulars’d stand aside to allow ’em through. merely as if they was a – a coupla male monarchs. ” which helps us to see into Olive’s perceptive of the lay-off. and how it has affected her. She evidently looks up to the two work forces. and paints them as ‘kings’ . We see a contrast between Pearl and Olive straight off ; Pearl confronts Olive about the agreement. and we can see the cynicism with which Pearl is contrasted to Olive. Olive is disdainful of Nancy’s pick to go forth and acquire married ; she sees it as a treachery of the ultimate dream she has for the season.

Roo and Barney are non instantly evidently the ‘kings’ we heard Olive describe. but we see the ‘Aussie larrikan’ in them both. particularly Barney. Roo is slightly more the strong and soundless type. who has suffered a licking severely. holding turned to alcohol to acquire off from it. We can non truly place them as being able to prolong an on-going relationship like this. because they don’t seem to be able to travel much deeper than the physical – Roo with his pride allowing him down. and Barney with equal force per unit area forestalling him fall ining his mate – all superficial qualities associated with reasonably shallow-minded characters. on the whole.

The presentation of the 17th doll to Olive by Roo focuses us on potency for the on-going felicity of the relationships. but already we can see that this summer will be different from every other. We can see the tensenesss already between characters. particularly between Roo and Barney. and Pearl and Olive. and the force per unit area on Pearl to be like Nancy for Barney. When Olive Begins to speak so protectively and sentimentally of the dolls. we can get down to see the deepness of Olive’s dream.

The dolls represent non merely her dream. but are her reminder throughout the working season that there is person who loves her ; what’s more. a stereotyped ‘heroic’ working Aussie larrikan who has a sensitive side to him. It is a symbol of her self-delusion. On the other manus. Roo’s about detached attitude toward the dolls and be seen as a typical male reaction to mawkishness. or as the preliminary to disappointment for Olive as she realises he doesn’t portion the same dream as she does. Roo’s masculine pride prevents him from crouching to be dependent on Olive or Barney this off-season.

We can see the struggle between this pride and Olive’s vision of the lay-off and her love for him that is so closely trussed to her dream. Act Two It is in this act that the characters have to acknowledge to one another that there is decidedly something different about this summer. This provides a great trade of tenseness between the characters. and leads up to a upseting flood tide. For Roo. the thing that has gone incorrectly this summer is that he has had to crouch to the place of holiday laborer. in a pigment mill – a far call from his ideal. romantic occupation as a swamp rabbit.

His pride. nevertheless. prevents him traveling grape-picking with Barney and the male childs. However. Roo besides knows and recognises how Olive feels about the whole state of affairs. and tries his hardest to do it work for them. Olive has lost her ideals of the lay-off ; her dreams are shattered by the worlds that Pearl confronts her with. The fact that she bursts in to cryings at the terminal of Scene One is a contemplation that she has realised that her dream life is truly merely an semblance. and she can non get by with this really good. as we subsequently see. Barney has lost a friend and has besides betrayed the codification of mateship ; a breakage of the unwritten regulations.

When he calls on Roo to return his friendly relationship by ask foring him grape-picking. Roo’s pride and his choler at Barney makes him take to interrupt the codification as good. When Barney says ‘Happy yearss ‘n glamourous nights’ he doesn’t intend what he says – he wants to acquire out of the rut he is in and travel back to be with the male childs. His focal point is wholly selfish. and he doesn’t attention truly happens to the other characters so much. Pearl inadvertently is the scaremonger of this scene. and she is besides selfish in that she doesn’t want to understand what this season meant to all the characters.

However. she doesn’t really do Olive’s dream to be shattered – it is how the characters react to the pragmatism that causes the scene to interrupt down. She has brought to their attending that the whole layoff was merely an semblance that the other characters had built up for themselves. It is in the following scene that we see that the ground why Roo broke down in the canefields is because he was acquiring old and non able to maintain up. non that he had a bad back at all. He lied to everyone except Barney. who blurts out the atrocious truth to the other characters.

However. it seems that Barney is non wholly he claimed to be either – his repute with the ladies has diminished rather quickly. It seems that Nancy saw this deficiency of emotional deepness in Barney excessively. and got out while the traveling was good. All the characters have been keeping on to their assorted semblances – the work forces of their maleness. and Olive as the idolized adult female of one of these Aussie heroes. The symbol of the broken vase represents the emotional provinces of these assorted characters. Act Three Emma’s talk to Roo spells out to him a batch of what is truly go oning.

He eventually realises that he is acquiring excessively old for this. as Emma says. Emma says that Olive is a sap. for beliving so profoundly in the dream. and for allowing it affect her so much. Bubba is convinced the dream will work for her. and no affair what the other characters say otherwise. she is determined to do it work for her and Dowd. It is sad that she has non learned anything from the other characters – we wonder whether she will happen the same letdown as Olive has. We get the feeling of a rhythm go oning. in that Bubba will go on on the lay-off. and be affected by the same calamity finally.

Roo tries to do the best of what he and Olive have left for themselves by suggesting to her. and she refuses him. demanding that he give her back what he’s taken from her. ie the semblance she was happy to populate under. He can non give her the impossible. so invites her to portion the ‘dust’ with him ; i. e. the world of life. but this is non plenty for Olive. She chooses non to populate with him. and to retrieve the dream as it was. We can see as she leaves that she is the most tragic of the characters. as she has been broken in spirit by something that meant so much to her ; more to her than to any other character.

Barney tries to do the best of the state of affairs. and attempts to deceive himself into believing that he can populate on every bit tantrum as he was. with his good mate Roo by his side. but this Roo knows is impossible – and he has besides recognised that this is the terminal of a portion of his life that has meant a batch to him excessively. and the deliberate breakage of the 17th doll symbolises the concluding smashing of the dream for everyone involved. Ideas about the Play Dreams and Realities Roo’s dream is the dream of being top Canis familiaris in a occupation that requires physical strength and endurance. and a flat caput every bit good.

He likes to be looked up to. and has a batch of pride as a consequence of that. He realises that he is acquiring old. and can non stay top Canis familiaris everlastingly. He loses the assurance in his ain abilities. and his belief in himself. Olive’s dream is the lay-off season and all its significance – she can be loved and have fun with people she loves. but without the incommodiousness of conventional matrimony ( although it is in many ways a lasting fond regard ) . or concerns of holding to back up a household – it is strictly for the enjoyment of all.

She realises that Roo is non the Aussie hero that she thought him to be – he is acquiring old and losing his strength. to go a humble worker in a pigment mill. every bit good as desiring to bewray the lay-off ideals by settling down to get married her. For Barney it is his couples and idolising of Roo as the top Canis familiaris. He believes in the traditional codification of mateship. but when it suits him. he breaks it handily. However. he expects Roo to follow the codification when he is in problem.

Barney realises that the codification of mateship does non keep up in all instances. and that he can non trust on it – a great daze to him. although he does seek to turn out his realizations incorrect by acquiring ‘back on the top’ with Dowd and the male childs. Pearl has a dream excessively. although hers is somewhat different from the other characters – she wants to be seen as being respectable ( retrieve her ‘good black’ frock ) . or possibly to happen person to get married and settle down with. She realises reasonably early that she will non happen this in Barney. but at the terminal she leaves the house with some sorrow. Calamity?

There are so ‘fatal flaws’ in the two chief characters. Olive and Roo. Olive’s is her naivite. and her strong ideals and the keeping on to these ideals that breaks her down in the terminal. The breakage of the dolls is important here. because it show the dissolution of her artlessness. Roo’s defect is his ‘dirty icky rotten pride’ that is the undoing of him – he won’t recognise that he is excessively old for the type of work he is in. and the fact that he gets a occupation in the pigment mill shows the extent to which his pride is broken.

The characters. nevertheless. ne’er seem to be able to pull off to speak about what they are losing – they resort to contending. and nailing things. but ne’er seem to be able to to the full understand how they have lost their dreams or why it happened. What accounts for the play’s success? “The monolithic success of The Doll proved at last that an Australian drama could be what hitherto had seemed unachievable: a truly autochthonal merchandise that dealt with the people and cultural scene of this state without patronizing or simplifying ; a quality merchandise with strong. unabashed local item.

It was the first internationally celebrated serious Australian drama. and therefore a trailblazer. There was no nightlong flowering of the local theater but in time… [ Australian plays ] … showed that the capable affair and the endowment to convey it to life on phase was here. ” -Wizard Study Guide General Notes on the Play ( from a talk by my unbelievable English instructor. Mr Crase-Smith ) Why is this drama still performed? It is certainly dated. with many colloquialisms and ethical motives of the times non heard of today. But The Doll still captures an audience.

This is non needfully because of its Australian-‘ness’ . but more because of its series of universals. This is a drama about ordinary people. which people can instantly associate to. The drive force behind the drama is certainly the desperate unhappiness which permeates the really bosom of the drama. This unhappiness is brought approximately by the fact that a group of people are seeking to remain immature. and are declining to gain they are turning old. They have a deficiency of apprehension of the turning procedure. and so stick with what they know best – their young person ; finally to their ruin.

We see the really immature along with the really old in this drama. we see the beginnings of a rhythm of adult females in a state of affairs. each one determined to do their life work. although they have seen the ruin of the older adult female. Emma hasn’t had an easy life. and although Olive has seen this. she hasn’t learnt any lessons from her. except that she wants to hold it otherwise. Bubba. likewise. can see that Olive’s life was less than perfect in the result. and is determined to do it work for her – she sees the chance in Johnnie Dowd. but fails to understand why it is that the group of friends have fallen apart.

The audience doesn’t know whether Olive will turn out like Emma. hardened and misanthropic. but finally wise. which is an audience-capturing in the contemplation. We can see that the work forces who at one phase came down like ‘eagles flyin’ down out of the sun’ are coming down this summer battered and bruised. They are non the fit immature work forces they were – Roo has a bad back. and Barney has had many blows to his self-importance sing the studliness he one time enjoyed. Behind his jesting frontage. we can see that he is really a instead hapless adult male. who is prepared to interrupt the unwritten codification of mateship to salvage his ain tegument.

This act of self-preservation has lost Barney the regard and friendly relationship he one time had from Roo. as can be seen when they fight in Act II Scene 2. The audience. nevertheless. sympathises with Barney. because they can see that behind his frontage he is truly hurt and sad when he is laughed at by adult females. The audience sympthasises with this because everyone knows how it feels to be laughed at. Nancy. the lone chief character we don’t really meet. has realised she is acquiring old. and wanted to acquire out of the slowly crumpling dream of the lay-off. accordingly acquiring married. and go forthing Barney and the others.

She embraced alteration in a manner that Olive can non understand – Olive believes Nancy’s pick as being faithless to the dream. “She made a error – Marriage is different. and Nancy knew it. ” Through this. we can see a crumbling. insecure universe with people who cleaving. like Olive. or alteration and grow after the coming of realization. like Nancy and Roo. Olive clings to a world that can non go on. Pearl sees this. and is used in this drama as a critical voice. so the audience can size up the characters and compare their actions. Pearl sees the lay-off for what it is. “…

if you’d merely come out of your day-dream long plenty to take a grown-up expression at the lay-off… “ . Is it a religion for Olive. or a phantasy? “I’m blind to what I want to be. ” Roo. nevertheless. sees. possibly excessively late. that it is doomed. and wants to encompass alteration in an attempt to retain every bit much as he can. In listening to what Emma has to state. he understands. eventually the world. It is the bluntness with which Emma presents the world to Roo that makes this scene so appealing. We can see once more how ordinary these peoples’ lives are. However. Olive sees Roo’s effort at alteration as being faithless.

She believes that if Roo leaves with Barney. as he normally does. it is the lone thing she has left – the last scintilla of the dream for her. Her young person has gone. . and she all of a sudden realises that she has lost everything. except for the memories. and the despairing hope that if he leaves. it will wholly be as if by magic better following clip. when Roo says. “Olive. it’s gone – can’t you understand? Every last small bit of it – gone! ” She becomes so intense. she believes that her ideal life has been stolen from her: “You give it back to me – give me back what you’ve taken. ” Roo’s world is deeply sad.

He refers to it as “… the dust we’re in and we’re gunna walk through it like everyone else for the remainder of our lives! ” This ‘dust’ he refers to propose mortality. and the fact that everything has been smashed to dust. and can non be reconstructed. He smashes the 17th doll as a powerful ocular image – there is no effort at declaration. or nuance – the shattering is borne of a brutal. crude inherent aptitude of weakness and defeat. This adds tremendously to the play’s entreaty – the terminal is unresolved. and a alteration from the usual ‘happy endings’ . and relies on the verve of the characters to play it out.

The tenseness between the phantasy and world is most seen here. as the ultimate subject of mortality is reinforced. This stoping shows the glare of the drama in its theatrical nature – there is no mawkishness in the drama – merely flooring worlds that confront the audience about their ain mundane lives. These people are so ordinary. but throughout the drama we get a sense of impending day of reckoning. which makes this about a Greek play – the flood tides show the characters’ humanity. and enthralls the audience.

This drama has been labelled by some critics as ‘the calamity of the inarticulate’ – a calamity of people who feel intense emotion and symbolism. but can non show their feelings. Some critics believe that Olive suffers from arrested development. a psychological upset in that the individual rejects the thought of turning old and remains childly in many ways. e. g. dressing like a kid. or transporting dolls etc. It is a withdrawal from world that Olive seems to possess. nevertheless she besides has spirit and verve. unlike many sick persons of this status.

She has given up the conventional ethical motives of the times. and takes hazards to glorification in a dream of her ain fiction. Olive has a great humor and we can see some of her female parent in her misanthropic remarks. So this position of Olive as holding this status is a instead narrow one so. Other critics feel that Lawler had some subterranean motivations in composing this drama – they believe he draws analogues to the growing of Australia itself ; it’s confrontation of colonialism and development to a recognized state.

By the 1950’s the colonialistic position of Australia by its dwellers and its ‘Mother Country’ Britain had begun to alter. and during the World Wars Australia realised how far off from Britain it really was. and decided that trade trades and pacts were best made with America and the Asiatic states. and these would hold to be recognised because Australia itself sits on the Asia-Pacific rim. further from Britain than any of her other big settlements. The subject of mateship is besides explored readily in this drama ; we see the truenesss that each individual has. and what they are prepared to give them for.

It particularly comes under examination when Barney pretends that his friendly relationship with Roo hasn’t suffered from his go forthing him up North. Although Barney offers emotional and pecuniary support to Roo. Roo knows merely how much Barney betrayed him up North. and shows him how their trust and trueness has broken down over that incident. Barney doesn’t realise until it is excessively late merely how much Roo suffered when he abandoned him. and so tried to feign that nil happened. Roo is besides ferociously loyal to Olive. and he is confronted by Barney about this when Barney wants to go forth to travel back North.

Roo knows how much the lay-off agencies to Olive. and doesn’t privation to abandon her. like Barney did him. because he knows merely how much harm that can make. when truenesss are tested like that. Olive besides has truenesss to Roo. but her precedences are with the layoff. and her dreams – which is where the truenesss begin to come undone. She doesn’t realise that she can non hold truenesss in something that is based on crumpling foundations. which is what Nancy realised when she left to acquire married. Although she has moved on. Nancy still sends Barney a wire to wish them good ; which shows her truenesss are still slightly with them.

Bubba is really loyal to the other characters of the drama – she has grown up with them ever in her life. and believes that this state of affairs is the ideal manner of life for. She bases her dreams on what has been the stable elements in her life. Emma is besides loyal ; for all her wisdom and sardonic remarks. her trueness is to Olive. her girl. She is besides slightly loyal to Roo. as she sees him as the possible hubby of her girl. so offers to assist him out when he is broke. although she knows the value of money really good.

This drama finally works because it touches our sense of compassion ; we feel commiseration for the dislocation of the relationships in the drama. and for the characters. and for the state of affairs – we feel commiseration for them turning old. We feel commiseration for the characters’ desire to construct an ideal universe ; we see Bubba’s frights for the hereafter. and her finding to get the better of them. and at the other terminal. we see the result in Emma’s wisdom: although she hasn’t built herself an ideal universe. she has learned to walk in her ‘dust’ and do the most of what she has.

This drama is about how ordinary people hurt in themselves. and how they can ache one another. and how people are loath to alter – a human defect that resides. to some extent. in everyone. ? A immense popular success. “it was reported that people drove 100s of kilometers and a adult male swam a afloat river to see it in the Northern Territory” [ Philip Parsons [ erectile dysfunction. ] . Companion to Theatre in Australia. Currency Press. 1995. p565 ] . ? The drama so travelled to the UK ( where it was co-produced by Laurence Olivier ) . with brief seasons in Nottingham and Edinburgh. before it?

s gap in London at the New Theatre on 30th April 1957. ? Audience and critical response here was about universally glowing. and the Doll later won the 1957 Evening Standard Award for the best new drama. ? After London. it transferred to New York ( opening on 22nd January 1958 ) but here the response was non rather as positive. and the season ended after merely 5 hebdomads. ? The Doll has been widely translated and performed in many states. ? It has besides inspired several versions – including the much-criticised movie version of 1959. a chamber opera ( 1996 ) and Doll Seventeen ( 2003 ) . a „stylised version?

of the drama. which replaced the bulk of the duologue in the drama with motion and music. ? In 1977. the Melbourne Theatre Company revived the drama as portion of The Doll Trilogy. executing it aboard two prequels written by Ray Lawler. Kid Stakes and Other Timess.

A scene from the original production of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll. Melbourne. 1955 SUMMER OF THE 17th DOLL 4 BELVOIR TEACHER’S NOTES CHARACTER LIST Olive Leech. a 37-year-old barmaid. girl to Emma and in a relationship with Roo Emma Leech. Olive? s female parent. the proprietor of the house they spend their summers Bubba Ryan 22-year-old neighbour of Olive & A ; Emma Barney Ibbot 40-year-old sugar cane husbandman. Roo?

S best mate Roo Webber a 38-year-old sugar cane husbandman. in long-standing relationship with Olive Pearl Cunningham a widow with an 18-year-old girl who works with Olive Johnnie Dowd 25 twelvemonth old sugar cane husbandman. in Roo & A ; Barney? s squad of cutters Pearl PEARL is a widow in her mid-fortiess. driven back to gaining a life by the one occupation she knows good. that of barmaid. Given the pick. she would prefer something of a more posh nature – caput salesgirl in a frock salon. for case. The pub game. she feels. is instead petroleum.

She is have oning what she refers to as her „good black? . with a dual twine of unreal pearls. Very discreet. [ Act One. Scene One ] 2011 Olive She comes downstairs. have oning a chip viridity and white summer frock. Moves with a hint of exhilaration into room. demoing herself off… She postures. waiting for their remarks. Despite a surface cynicism and 37 old ages of age. there is something oddly unfinished about OLIVE. an avidity that decently belongs to extreme young person. This is intensified at the minute by her nervous expectancy. She is a barmaid at the same metropolis hotel as PEARL. but. unlike the latter. she enjoys the occupation.

[ Act One. Scene One ] 1957 Emma Almost 70 now. Emma? s consciousness of events is every bit acute as of all time. but she is reconciled these yearss to her topographic point in the back place. and her tidiness and uprightness have become haphazard. [ Act One. Scene One ] 2011 Roo He is a adult male? s adult male with a run of gradualness. a mixture that invites assurance. Tall. 38 old ages of age. just hair tinged with Grey. a instead beat-up face with a well-cut oral cavity. Recent experiences have etched a weak line of obfuscation between his eyes. a mark of the first serious mental battle he has of all time had in his life. but his mode seems free and easy traveling. Both work forces are profoundly tanned. a strong contrast to the white obesity of the adult females.

[ Act One. Scene One ] 1957 Barney … has an overpowering failing for adult females. and makes them acknowledge it. Previous reference of him as a small adult male is non rather right. He is short surely. but non much below medium tallness. and solidly built. Probably his changeless association with the bigger ROO emphasizes his deficiency of inches. His mode is self-asserting. confident and impertinently bright. possibly a small overdone as a rebelliousness to his 40 old ages and the beginning of a pot belly. [ Act One. Scene One ] 1957.


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