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Making clear reference to the critics show your view of Carol and John's relationship in the David Mamet play "Oleanna". Is he a victim of Carol's malice or his own inadequacy?

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John is responsible for everything that happens to him. Carol is a character whose complaint against her teacher is both legitimate and justified. Making clear reference to the critics show your view of Carol and John's relationship in the play. Is he a victim of Carol's malice or his own inadequacy? David Mamet's play Oleanna is as complex and asks as many questions as the characters it contains. Oleanna has no easy answers, you can be right or you could be horribly wrong at the same time depending on what gender you are or what views you have. John is a lecturer at a university he is hard to understand; he is seen to be innocent and guilty but always to have some of the blame for his actions. Carol is shown to be deceitful and is always twisting things to make John into prey for her "group" on many occasions. Around the time this play was written there was a large interest in sexual harassment and cases of that nature, in that year a film called Disclosure where the actress Demi Moore sexually harasses a male worker. John is a character who could be misinterpreted as he is a great believer in himself, which makes him appear ignorant and uncaring, As Maurice Patterson (2002) ...read more.


McAllister writes "He almost talks non stop at Carol" John is also seen to have the power when we are introduced to him; it is his office, his phone, his desk and his chairs. This is his environment for him to be ignorant in believing that teachers can never do any wrong but this can be his downfall as it is in his own office then it is shown to be his own fault as it is his responsibility to have either had another member of the faculty or at least the door open. His unprofessional behaviour is only open to one interpretation as the door is shut and that is Carol's such as when he tells a story involving sexual content with explicit details "John: the rich copulate less often than the poor. But when they do, they take more clothes off" Carol's interpretation of this was the tone of suggested sexual tones and as no one else was around it was only her interpretation that matters. All in all in the first act John is seen as an ignorant lecturer oblivious to Carols problems as she is seen as a meek and na�ve student having problems with her class. ...read more.


a sexual harassment law suit and women can relate to Carol's anger at being pompous and ignorant to her needs an example of a feminist view of the play is Linda Lopez McAllister when she writes "John is an pompous, arrogant overbearing jerk in love with the sound of his own voice" whereas males who have attended the show have been known to cheer in the final act when Carol is about to get hit by John. In conclusion John is not only a victim of his own mistakes but of Carol's malice too, when Carol realises she may have a case to put against John her confidence escalates and is seen to be a big ruse, this shows John as the victim for the rest of the play helping the audience sympathise with him in some cases causing audiences to cheer when Carol is attacked, John is not free from blame by far, only in the first act is Carol sympathised with whereas the rest of the play John is to be sympathised with because he lost all of his livelihood and dreams because of one feminist and her group. It can be seen that Carol is vindictive and that the complaints she had made against John are neither legitimate nor justified. ...read more.

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