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The Representation of Women in A Map of the World

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2021, 34(2), pp.5-31
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : July 15, 2021
  • Accepted : August 9, 2021
  • Published : August 31, 2021

Soim Kim 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

David Hare’s A Map of the World (1982) includes diverse themes such as the confrontation between the right-wing and left-wing over the aids for the third world, the relationship between reality and art, and the representations and transformation of reality in various art forms. One sign which connects these themes is a woman, which is represented and re-represented amidst the ideology battle between the right-wing and left-wing alpha males in the various forms of art—a novel, a play and a film. Most of this play enacts the film version of Mehta’s novel. The remaining parts show the actors’ interactions in the film studio. The play’s representations of women including both the film scenes and the studio scenes are not pro-woman despite the outbursts of feminist art and scholarship at the time when Hare wrote this play. The representation of Peggy, the early twenties jazz violinist, who is the main female character of the play, is stereotypical in that she is anti-intellect and pro-sensual. Peggy is the parody of a sexually liberated American woman of the 70s. Even though the real-life Peggy complains that the film sensationalises the one-night stand and claims that she outgrows the immature former self, she does not show much more emotional and intellectual maturity than the film version of Peggy. Even though real women can be distorted and misrepresented due to male writers and directors’ slanted perspectives, in A Map of the World, there is no evidence that positive female role models do exist in the world outside the novel and film. Even though Hare, a sharp critic of the dated British conventions and values, explores alternative values and dreams of the utopia through his plays, at least in this play, women have no place in his visions.

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