Summer of the Seventeenth Doll – by Steph Essay Example
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll – by Steph Essay Example

Summer of the Seventeenth Doll – by Steph Essay Example

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  • Pages: 2 (374 words)
  • Published: September 13, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The significance of place and/or landscape is a crucial aspect to analyze in literary works. It constructs the backdrop and period, examining ideas through symbolism and societal norms of that time. The play The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll written by Ray Lawler primarily relies on place to establish the setting and provide the audience with a contextual understanding of the story.

The play takes place in 1950s Australia during an economic boom. It revolves around Roo and Barney, who travel from Queensland to Melbourne to visit Olive and Pearl during the lay-off season. The play's setting, a once-fashionable suburb called Carlton, is significant because it highlights Roo and Barney's typical work routine in Queensland, with Melbourne serving as their vacation destination. Interestingly, Roo brings Olive a kewp


ie doll each summer he visits.

Symbolic of the time they spend together and their children, this de-facto summer living relationship also reflects the era it is set in, where it was unacceptable for a woman to live with a man without being married. Despite this societal expectation, Olive remained in her own world of 'kewpie dolls' and enjoying the occasional company of boys during the summer, with no plans to marry Roo or have actual children with him.

The era of the 1950s was chosen by Ray Lawler as the setting for the play. Towards the end of the play, Roo decides that he wants to live with Olive permanently, give up his job in Queensland, and marry her. However, Olive is not interested in that kind of relationship with Roo and expresses her refusal to marry him by saying, "You think I'll let it all end up in

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marriage – every day – a paint factory – you think I'll marry you?" For Olive, Roo was just like a summer fling. The storyline is significant because it depicts the coming of age of women's independence, individualism, and freedom. It also addresses issues within the society and how they were not accepted through the portrayal of characters. The play was important for Australians as it showcased realistic characters with themes of mateship displayed among the boys. The setting serves as a reflection of Australian themes during the era of 1950.

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