Literary Contexts in Plays: David Mamet's "Oleanna"

Bryan, Richard A.
September 2006
Literary Contexts in Plays: David Mamet's 'Oleanna';2006, p1
Literary Criticism
This essay supplies a summary and analysis of David Mamet's play "Oleanna." It offers a plot summary and places the play in historical, scientific, religious, and societal contexts. All of the action of the play takes place in a single setting and can be found in the form of dialogue. The play consists of a series of conversations between a student, Carol, and her professor, John. The conversations begin as academic questions from Carol and then turn into inappropriate remarks and suggestions by John. The play ends in violence when Carol has accused John of battery and rape and has caused him to lose his tenure, job and possibly his freedom.


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