The Old Playhouse: Culture, Constrictions, and Subversion in Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine | Mamata Sengupta

The Old Playhouse: Culture, Constrictions, and Subversion in Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine | Mamata Sengupta

The Old Playhouse: Culture, Constrictions, and Subversion in Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine
Mamata Sengupta

Abstract: Right from its very inception, both society and culture require man to adhere strictly to a set of norms in order to get accommodated into its protective fold. Such a prerequisite, however, robs man of his freedom of thought, action, and expression. The present paper seeks to re-read famous British playwright Caryl Churchill’s much celebrated play Cloud Nine (1979) with a view to highlighting how society frustrates man’s rights on their own bodies and beings by levelling every act of defiance or deviance as abnormality, sickness, possession and/or corruption. Efforts will also be made to trace how the marginalized characters of the play like Betty, Joshua, Edward, and Victoria break free from the shackles of “normative” and then therefore “normal” existence, and how they brave the dangers inherent in such acts of utter defiance and try to articulate their long-silenced tales of forbidden and potentially disruptive experiences.

Keywords: society, culture, colonialism, patriarchy, hegemony

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Published in 2018

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