Control In Wendy Wasserstein's Third

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“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.”- Van Wilder. In the play Third by Wendy Wasserstein, the main character Laurie, is a control freak and overactive worrier . She is described as a pioneer in her work. As she was the first woman to receive tenure as an English professor at previously all male college who also happens to have a great reputation, in addition to excelling Harvard and Oxford, almost as if she had never been completely challenged. Challenges allow people to grow and experience things that are out of their control. This lack of being challenged academically and professionally has left her with the feeling that she can control every aspect of her life and even the lives…show more content…
As a college English professor and private citizen, she has no control over what Congress or the military does. When her daughter, Emily, returns home on a visit from college, she says to her mom, “I can see nothing’s changed here. You’re still watching the news 24/7.” who responds with, “Emily, you have to watch this government like a hawk. They can do strange things in the middle of the night…” (Wasserstein p. 9) Laurie’s obsessive behaviors are seen throughout the play but this thought of war really heightens it. One of the main points in the the Psychology Today article is to “determine what you can control”. Laurie needs to have a reality check so she can realize that, even though to her it is terrifying, she has no control over the government. The article continues by saying, “When you find yourself worrying, take a minute to examine the things you have control over. You can 't prevent a storm from coming, but you can prepare for it. You can 't control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react.” Laurie’s obsessive behaviors are not healthy and even when the war is going on, she continues to stress about it. She never considers changing her attitude towards the problem or trying to lower her stress levels by considering that the war could be a solution to their situation. Laurie’s inability to give up control in the long run ends up hurting herself the

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