Come Back, Little Sheba on Broadway | The Feminist Spectator
This item:Come Back, Little Sheba by Burt Lancaster DVD $ After a shot gun marriage, Lola loses the couple's baby and relies for comfort on her dog, Sheba, who . In the end, the wife sadly realizes that Little Sheba isn't coming back. himself to his marriage without the curvaceous Marie arousing his baser instincts. a tacked-on happy ending, common to Fifties movie melodramas, pretends otherwise. Audience Reviews for Come Back, Little Sheba. Come Back, Little Sheba () on IMDb: Plot summary, synopsis, and more Delaney avoided coming to terms with what Doc considered a "shot gun" marriage. In so many different ways, Marie ends up being a reminder for Doc of what.
Shirley Booth originated Lola on Broadway and in the subsequent film version, for which she won an Academy Award. But as the second act moves through its devastating unraveling, Merkerson reveals Lola as a surprisingly strong but trapped woman trying frantically to hold onto a marriage she knows was a mistake from the start, struggling to be a partner to a husband whose alcoholism destroys them both.
Marie, their boarder Zoe Kazaninflames an already fraught relationship with her flirtatious presence, taunting Doc with casual intimacies that quicken his step. The production suggests that the conventions of heterosexual marriage were already rotten in the 50s, even as American ideology worked so hard to construct the nuclear family living happily in the suburbs as the sine qua non of such relationships. Both Lola and Doc suffocate in the confines of their home, fabricating intimacy and performing normalcy as they suffer their emotional and social isolation.
Doc is jealous of Marie and Turk, and funnels his repressed desire into flirting with her under the guise of paternalism.
Inge suggests that even those with the most in common—lonely housewives chained to deadening routines—must invest in appearances of decorum instead of reaching out to each other with sympathy and agency. Merkerson is a revelation as Lola. At the conclusion of this play, both Doc and Lola appear to have accepted the reality of their lives and both seem ready to move forward together. Explore the symbolism in the play and decide if you think that Inge relies too heavily on symbolism to carry his plot.
The early s are often identified with isolation and repressed sexuality. In what ways do the Delaneys represent this repressed and inhibited ideal? In Greek plays the sections of the drama signified by the appearance of the chorus were usually divided into five acts. This is the formula for most serious drama from the Greeks to the Romans to the Elizabethan playwrights like William Shakespeare. The five acts denote the structure of dramatic action. They are exposition, complication, climax, falling action, and catastrophe.
Come Back, Little Sheba is a two-act play. The climax occurs in the second act when Doc begins to drink again. Scene Scenes are subdivisions of an act. A scene may change when all of the main characters either enter or exit the stage. But a change of scene may also indicate a change of time. In Come Back, Little Sheba, the second scene of Act I occurs later on the same day, and thus, indicates the passage of time in the play.
Setting The time, place, and culture in which the action of the play takes place is called the setting. The elements of setting may include geographic location, physical or mental environments, prevailing cultural attitudes, or the historical time in which the action takes place.
Come Back, Little Sheba () - Rotten Tomatoes
The action occurs over a period of two days. The proceedings are further reduced to one set, the downstairs of the Delaney home. The setting is the result of their life choices, the sum of their actions. It is the battleground upon which they must resolve their differences and move forward. Plot This term refers to the pattern of events.
Generally plots should have a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion, but they may also sometimes be a series of episodes connected together. Basically, the plot provides the author with the means to explore primary themes. Students are often confused between the two terms; but themes explore ideas, and plots simply relate what happens in a very obvious manner. Thus the plot of Come Back, Little Shebais the story of a husband and wife who find that their present is not commensurate with the dreams of their past.
But the themes are those of loneliness, addiction, and lost opportunities. Character A person in a dramatic work. The actions of each character are what constitute the story.
Characters can range from simple stereotypical figures to more complex multi-faceted ones. Characters may also be defined by personality traits, such as the rogue or the damsel in distress. To accomplish this the author provides the character with personality traits that help define who he will be and how he will behave in a given situation.
Come Back, Little Sheba
For instance, in the beginning of Come Back, Little Sheba, Doc is sober, although his evasive answers to Lola indicate he is not happy or even accepting of the life he is living. As the play progresses, it becomes clearer that Doc is in a great deal of emotional pain.
When he realizes that she is not what he thought, he cannot deal with even one more disappointment in his life. These sequences define the character of Doc as a broken, disillusioned man. The traits Inge assigns to him identify him as such and his actions are therefore plausible to the audience.
Drama A drama is often defined as any work designed to be presented on the stage. It consists of a story, of actors portraying characters, and of action. But historically, drama can also consist of tragedy, comedy, religious pageant, and spectacle. In modern usage, drama explores serious topics and themes but does not achieve the same level as tragedy. Drama is also applicable as a term to describe a storyline that is serious in nature and theme.
Come Back, Little Sheba () - IMDb
Come Back, Little Sheba represents both definitions of the term. Catharsis Catharsis is the release of emotions, usually fear and pity. The term as first used by Aristotle in his Poetics to refer to the desired effect of tragedy on the audience. The final act of Come Back, Little Sheba is cathartic because the tension has been building as the audience has watched the affair of Marie and Turk progress, understanding of course, that its lack of concealment will lead to a climax when Doc realizes that Marie is not pure and virginal.
When Doc finally explodes in rage at Lola, the audience also feels the eruption of this tension as a catharsis. Symbolism Symbolism is the use of one object to replace another. It is an important tool in literature. The symbol is an object or image that implies a reality beyond its original meaning. This is different from a metaphor, which summons forth an object in order to describe an idea or a quality.
She searches for the dog, just as she searches for her lost beauty and youth. He is a sexual plaything for Marie. The javelin is clearly identified with male sexual genitalia and sexuality. He wants to believe that Marie will behave in a pure fashion and thus not suffer the fate that Lola has.
Thanks to the G. Bill which provided government funding for the college education of men exiting the armed servicesthousands of men who would never have been able to go to college found the way suddenly made easier. A building boom meant that those better educated men marry and the families could buy the new houses being built on tracts all across suburban America. The decade also marked the beginning of a period of domestic perfection. Television would turn the postwar ideal of perfect families in perfect homes surrounded by perfect white fences into the national image.
Unfortunately for many families, failure to live up to this ideal resulted in depression and despondency—much like Doc and Lola in Come Back, Little Sheba.
Come Back, Little Sheba on Broadway
Darkness was also evident in the political events of the decade. Despite the public emphasis on suburban existence, a large portion of America was still centered on a rural way of life. Bythe baby boom of postwar America was well established. The emphasis, after years of depression followed by years of war, was on stability and family.
Blue Cross Insurance programs cover thirty-seven million Americans, more than six times the number insured only ten years before. Almost half of all Americans have no health insurance. InPresident Clinton and the U. Congress will once again consider a new health care package to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care. Auto registrations show one passenger car for every 3. Almost every American family has at least one automobile, with most owning two or three.
The car has become an indelible symbol of life in America, with the majority of the population relying on the vehicles as their primary mode of transportation; autos have become personal statements, reflecting the personality and independence of their owners. Tranquilizer drugs that eliminate anxiety and excitement without making users too drowsy are developed by Wallace Laboratories and by Wyeth Laboratories.
The drug Valium becomes a common accessory for high-strung personalities. Tranquilizers, anti-depressants, and other anti-anxiety drugs are heavily advertised in all publications and readily available to almost everyone.
Still more turn to illegal drugs such as marijuana for relaxation and stress relief. The age of mass media begins; the nation now has more than one hundred television stations broadcasting in thirty-eight states. Five million homes have sets, but forty-five million homes still have radios.
Television sets occupy almost every home, with most domiciles having more than one set. Families that used to be grouped around the radio in the evening have been replaced by families that spread out in different rooms to watch programming on different sets. The internet becomes a new media venue for entertainment and information. The role of wife and mother was repeatedly portrayed in the media as the highest aspiration for a woman in postwar society. When Lola laments early in the play that she does not know what she is supposed to do in a childless house, she is giving voice to the dark underside of that perfect American family.
In the midst of a baby boom, what is a woman without children to do? Lola tells the audience that Doc does not want her working, but he is only repeating the natural order of domestic life. Few women were working outside the home in this era, but women were beginning to become a stronger force in society.
With production of consumer goods at an all time high, women as consumers were beginning to have more power. In addition, their wartime participation in the American work force had given them a taste of independence and pride in workmanship.
For many women, the s reinforced the belief that they should have the same opportunities as men in both domestic and business situations.
Yet due to the prosperity of the postwar business boom, many other women saw no reason to question the status quo. With increased money circulating in the economy, consumer spending was up and times were good. A postwar production economy was trying to meet the demand for new cars, new washers, and the multitude of new items that television advertisements promised each family they would need.
The manufacture and sale of television sets also sharply increased to meet new demands. The acquisition of material goods was another symbol of the American Dream. If a family did not have a new home, new car, and completely modern new kitchen, then they were not living the good life. Most critics cheered the performances of Shirley Booth and Sydney Blackmer in the lead roles.
Barnes and Atkinson were not alone. But, this drama could not be described as a smash hit. It played for less than six months. The work was more successful financially as a film. The frank manner in which Inge presents alcoholism and addiction in the play was shocking to many viewers. In subsequent decades the matter become a popular topic for film and theater, with works such as Lost Weekend and Leaving Las Vegas presenting stark and realistic visions of addiction.
As with the topic of abuse, Inge innovated open portrayals of sex. Certainly other members of the audience may have felt the same way. Marie makes only the slightest effort to be discrete as she sneaks Turk up to her bedroom after the Delaneys have gone to bed.
Her sexual bantering with Turk offers no indication that she is embarrassed, only that she and Turk are interested in casual sex.Come Back Little Sheba 1977 (Laurence Olivier - Joanne Woodward)
In fact, Marie makes clear that Turk is being used as a diversion until she can marry her boyfriend back home. This was a shocking revelation in that many believed a woman should only have sex after marriage and, further, that the act serve only as a method of procreation.
One night, Turk and Marie return from a school dance. Marie forgot her key, so Turk enters through a window, unlocks the front door, and lets Marie in. They sneak into Marie's room. Doc sees them together and, deeply upset, goes back to the kitchen and reaches for his bottle hidden in the cupboard. Meanwhile, Marie changes her mind about Turk and asks him to leave.
He calls her a "tease" and tries to force himself on her, but is unsuccessful. He leaves, unseen by Doc, through a window. The next morning Doc takes the whiskey he has not touched for a year from the cabinet and disappears for hours, missing the dinner Lola planned for Marie and Bruce. He returns in a drunken rage, lashing out at Lola and threatening her with a knife.
She manages to call two of Doc's AA friends to take him to the hospital.