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Representation of Sexual Violence: Hot 'N' Throbbing by Paula Vogel

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2011, 24(2), pp.27-55
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

박경란 1

1제주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In Hot ’N’ Throbbing, Vogel explores the seriousness of domestic violence in American society, after witnessing violence in an heterosexual relationship while she was working on it. Through this play, Vogel relates pornography to sexual violence as pornography debases women into sexual objects and injects into men the ideology that men can do whatever they want with women. The number of the victims is on the rise with the development of the media and technology. Pornography propagates the ideology of male power and domination in society further where nearly nothing can stop this status quo. The play revolves around Charlene, a single parent, who supports her children, and her work - writing the scripts for erotica. Even though Charlene insists that erotica is different from pornography, in most cases, they represent the same in terms of nudity, obscenity and heterosexuality. The erotica Charlene writes influences the members of the family. The daughter wears scanty clothes; the son is indulged in voyeurism instead of going out with girls; herself as a sexual object in her erotica; and the ex-husband, a wife-beater and alcoholic, consume pornography and buys prostitutes. Vogel’s play depicts the archetype of a dysfunctional family in contemporary America. The ex-husband, Clyde dares to visit Charlene despite the restraining order by the court. Charlene shoots him for self-defence, but Clyde, angered by her reaction to the firing and jealousy of unspecific men for whom, Clyde assumes, Charlene might have prepared some type of protection - this time, condom, Clyde strangles her with his belt. The dramaturgy alienates the audience from the violent action by incorporating in the play the two characters, Voice-over and Voice, positioned on either margin of the stage. Voice-over represents the Actress of the Foxy Lady, and also narrates Charlene’s script and her inner voice through the microphone. The Voice plays the club proprietor, the bouncer, and the inner voice of Clyde and enacts some lines related to sex from the works of Krafft-Ebing, D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and James Joyce with each of their accents respectively. The setting of the stage also represents the reality and fantasy, sometimes mixed up in Charlene's erotica. The dramaturgy reveals the fantasy can become a reality in pornography.

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