Drama

Assignment: Subject: Drama

Due Date: March 8

Choose ONE of the following options (Option 1, Option 2, or Option 3). Your essay should be typed,

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double-spaced, and from 500 to 600 words long using 12 point font (Times or Times New Roman).

Develop a thesis concerning Option 1, 2, or 3 and support your thesis with specific reasons, examples, and

explanations. If you use another source of information besides the material we have read in class, you must

indicate the name and source of the information. You must use quotation marks when quoting another

source of information, but I discourage you from using too much quoted information. This essay should

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mostly reflect your ideas and your writing. As with essays #1 and #2, put two documents in our shared

dropbox, labeled accurately: one being the draft and one being the revision. For example:

[your name_Essay3_draft]

and [your name_Essay3_revision]

Make sure both documents, draft and revision, have your name and Section # in the header of the text.

I encourage you to use the Writing Center tutors or to work with another student doing peer reviews so that

you can have another person read your draft before you revise it.

Option 1: Irony in Pygmalion, OR Trifles OR Sure Thing

Irony may occur or be expressed in several ways. Verbal irony refers to what someone says: in this case

someone says one thing but means or intends to suggest the opposite. For example, when it is cold and

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miserable outside, someone says “What a nice day.” Situational irony refers to actions or events that have

a result or outcome that is opposite of what was intended or expected. For example, a young man brings

bright red roses to a girl on the very day that her beloved dog has just died. Dramatic irony refers to the

difference between what an audience (or reader) knows and what a character in the fiction (drama, novel,

short story, or poem) knows. In other words, the audience knows a character is doing the wrong thing

because the audience knows more about the situation than what the character knows.

For this essay, write an essay in which you discuss irony in one of the plays we have read. Make sure you

support your assertions about what is ironic with specific references to the text, either to dialogue or stage

directions.

Option 2: Character Analysis in Pygmalion and “The Waltz” and “Hills Like White Elephants”

How are the women in these three stories—Eliza in Pygmalion, the woman in “The Waltz,” and

Jig in “Hills”—alike? How are they different? In particular, you should describe how they relate to the men

in these stories.

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Option 3: Theme in Pygmalion

George Bernard Shaw takes the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea and gives it a modern context. In

the myth, Pygmalion, the sculptor, creates a work or art—his stone sculpture of Galatea—so beautiful that

he prays that she become a real woman that he can marry. In Shaw’s Pygmalion, Shaw gives us Professor

Higgins, who on a bet claims he can turn Eliza from a common, uneducated flower girl into a woman who

could pass as a duchess, merely by teaching her proper speech and manners. Has Higgens succeeded? Is

Eliza the same person beneath her now proper speech and manners, or has she been transformed into a new

person altogether? In discussing this issue, you should discuss issues of social mobility and social

determinism. You should also draw parallels with stories we have read that also feature issues of social

class, such as “Sunday in the Park, “On the Road,” “Gaston,” or “Romero’s Shirt.”

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