• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Senses and Sensuality in "Intimate Apparel" by Lynn Nottage.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Essay : The theme of Sense and Sensuality Sensuality plays a key role in many relationships; it intervenes in marriage, in a couple’s relationship, in one-night stands. Sensuality helps build a physical connection between people, just like in Intimate Apparel. Intimate apparel is a play written by Lynn Nottage, it was first played on February 2nd in 2003. This play is situated in Lower Manhattan in 1905. In Intimate Apparel, senses and sensuality are made omnipresent as staged in dialogues, the settings and all that is unsaid which affects the characters’ actions and interaction thus driving the plot of the story. Mrs Van Buren experiences sensuality through senses with Esther because as her seamstress, Esther often touches her clients with her gentle and graceful hands. This affects Mrs Van Buren’s relationship with Esther driving her to want to experience sensuality and sexual pleasure with Esther as she doesn’t with her husband. “The silhouette of a naked woman moves gracefully behind a translucent screen”. “Mrs Van Buren clumsily tugs at the bodice. Esther runs her fingers gracefully along the seam, down the curve of Mrs Van Buren’s waist. Mrs Van Buren tenses slightly at the sensation of being touched”, in the stage directions, Lynn Nottage refers to Mrs Van Buren’s naked body while she is putting on the corset and these quotes show ...read more.

Middle

George’s letters are centered around the beautiful words, the sexual references and appeals to marry him. Their first contact and form of communication was through the letters. Although, the reader has access to George’s letters; he doesn’t have the same luxury of reading Esther’s. In George’s letters, the sweet and pleasureful words were a common theme, “It isn’t appropriate, but I will say it, I crave a gentlewoman's touch, even if it only be to turn down my collar or brush away the dirt in the evenings.” The pressure that Esther felt by the society into getting married and George’s letters made her lose her sensibility. She didn’t listen to her gut feeling or to Mrs. Dickson’s words warning her about a potentially miserable life, “ I don’t trust him, one bit”. Esther lost her senses by giving into this pressure, she only thought about getting married, not about her life with someone that she doesn’t really love. When asked about the reason for marrying George, Esther answered “... Love” with a clear hesitation. Unlike with the other characters, Esther betrayed her own sensibility and was out of her senses by marrying George; her sensibility didn’t allow her to love Mrs. Van Buren, it didn’t allow her to disrespect Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

“Eventually he stops. Silence. Mayme sits on her bed. Then Esther exits with the smoking jacket.” This scene could mean the impossibility of any sensuality in Mayme’s life as her bed is what holds her when she falls down from despair, as with George she feels a genuine love and sensuality. To conclude, in Intimate Apparel, senses and sensuality are made omnipresent as staged in dialogues, the settings and all that is unsaid which affects the characters’ actions and interactions, thus driving the plot of the story. This thesis statement was proven in this essay through the analysis of Esther’s relationships with different characters; in her marriage with George which was revealed to the reader by George’s dislike for fabric and his betrayal of Esther. The smoking jacket which stands as a very important symbol represents Esther and George’s incompatibility as a married couple as the jacket and fabric hold very sensual meanings, the senses played an important role in their marriage as Esther lost her senses in her marriage with George. However, with the other characters, Esther acts as a very sensible person as she refuses the sensuality provided to her by Ms Van Buren, respects Mr Marks’s religion and despite her sensual attraction towards him, she keeps her distance with him. In the background, the bed acts as a sensuality detector, because with the absence of its use in the scenes, it represents the impossibility of sensuality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work