The Heidi Chronicles Essay
“”The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein kept my interest so much that I could not put it down until I was to the last page. I liked how the issue of sexuality played a role along with the issue of feminist goals in this play. I believe they complimented one another in that both groups strive for equal right among the majority. For example when Peter starts to march with the other women from the Art Institute. It shows that he is standing for a cause the effects another minority group in our society: women.
I found Susan very interesting in the play. At the beginning she is always concerned with impressing the guys, rolling her skirt to appear more attractive. Peter makes a correlation in that Susan gave herself Stigmatas, resembling the wounds suffered by Jesus, in the waist with straight pins. I just find that so ironic; she tortured herself in the pursuit of men, being looked upon more as a sexual object than a human being. On the other hand, she tried to be a feminist to the point of moving to a womens health and legal collective in Montana, where she met and dated Molly. I wonder if she really wants Molly or decided to play the other team because she was so discussed by men? Or a little bit of both.
Heidi knows a variety of men through out this play. There is Peter, I really think she likes Peter, he has a good heart, is caring for her, and believes for equal rights for everybody regardless of race, gender, or sexuality. However he is gay and she doesnt have a chance with him. I believe Scoop is too much of a chauvinistic pig especially when he assigns a grade to everything from food, music, and women. He is a prime example of why there are feminist out there to put men like him back in his cage.
Act 2, Scene 2 is where I had the strongest reaction that is when Peter, Scoop, and Heidi went on a talk show. What made me mad was before the show Denise told Peter to act out his sexuality more than usual. Basically telling him to be the stereotypical, flaming homosexual for the television audience. It reminded me of the Jerry Springer episodes where they bring out the gay guests that have cheated on their lovers: been there, done that, now they are back for more attitude. Which is a false portrayal of the gay community. Betrayal happens in any kind of relationship whether is gay or straight relationship. The talk show they are on reminds me of the Dr. Laura show. April, the host, makes several comments that have gay derogatory undertones. April talks about how their generation is rich, powerful, famous, and even parents. Then she makes a comment to the effect of What if Peter Pan came through our bedroom windows? Peter Pan I think symbolizes homosexuality as a disease the way she talks about it. Her narrow-minded perspective makes it seem that just because
somebody chooses an alternative lifestyle that they can no longer be rich, powerful, famous, or even parents. Even though she is a fictional character I could still imagine myself telling her what I think of her ideals about the gay lifestyle. Peter says to April, Do you keep lists in your refrigerator? Peter is trying to knock her off her soap box and bring her back to reality. Questioning if she has done things wrong that she is not proud of. Perhaps maybe a lesbian experience and she has internal conflicts with her own sexuality might be a reason for her hostile attitude towards Peter.
Even though The Heidi Chronicles dealt more with feminist issues, I still had more opinions about the not so evident sexuality undertones found in this play.
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