John And Carol In David Mamet's Oleanna

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In the play Oleanna written by highly esteemed playwright, David Mamet, there is an ongoing dissension between main characters John and Carol. John is Carol’s professor at a highly revered college and Carol comes to John crying out for help to pass his course. Carol goes ballistic in John’s office so John tries to comfort her and offers her a compromise in order to get her grade up, which would involve them meeting a couple times in his office. Carol perceives John’s words and actions the wrong way and goes to the Tenure Committee of the college and files a complaint for sexual assault, which would later turn into a rape charge. I am antagonistic towards Carol in David Mamet’s play, Oleanna, because she distorts the intentions of John’s…show more content…
Carol continuously goes back to meet with John alone in his office even after she filed the accusations against him. If a woman has been sexually harassed or especially “raped” you would not think that she would continue to put herself in the situation that she was in when it first occurred. It is as if Carol persistently goes back to meet with John alone in order to collect more “evidence” that she can contort to match her accusation of rape or even to go as far as pushing him to actually commit the crime that he is being accused of. Throughout the play, Carol seemed to almost want John to actually sexually assault or even go as far as rape her like in her accusations. In Act 3, Carol takes provoking John to a new level when she overhears a phone call he has with his wife and then tells him “Don’t call your wife baby” (Mamet 54). This phrase from Carol represents how in control of John’s life she is. From losing tenure, his job, his new house, and potentially his wife, Carol has taken everything dear to him and held it over his head. When John hears Carol speak these unfathomable words to him, something in him snaps. John viciously begins to attack Carol turning the false allegations into different and valid ones but, I do not blame John. If you had agreed to help someone out and they turn around and accuse you of something as vile as rape, confiscating you of everything you hold important, then you surely are not going to react in a reasonable way towards them at all. When John is finished beating Carol, Carol looks up at him and says “Yes, that’s right.” then goes on to say it to herself. (Mamet 54) I believe that in this moment Carol purposely provoked John with the mention of his wife in order to get him furious enough to physically assault her. Throughout this play, Carol acts
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