Manipulation In Oleanna

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Oleanna is a play by David Mamet. Only two characters entertain the audience, John, a married college teacher in his forties, and Carol, a twenty-year-old student. Carol drops by unexpectedly in John’s office, presumably to talk to him about her difficulties to understand the course. John appears to be impatient, as telephone calls repeatedly interrupt their conversation. Carol interferes in his conversation with his wife and asks him personal questions about his calls. John tries to avoid the subject and get back to the reason why Carol is here: the course material. Carol’s fallacious premise is that she needs a good grade for the course, and John shares personal stories to reassure her that everything is going to be fine. He expresses his willingness to help by offering her to come to his office every once in a while to review the course together. Carol is suspicious of his behavior but ends up following through with these meetings. Throughout their meetings, their confrontation becomes a fight where their incapacity to understand each other prevents any communication. Carol ends up accusing John of rape, after gathering many facts that she thinks can prove her right. This puts John’s world in jeopardy: his …show more content…

Carol came in John’s office, claiming that she needed help with the course material. John let her come in, even though it was not during his office hours and other personal issues already preoccupied him. Their conversation was often disrupted by phone calls between John and his wife, with whom he discussed private problems. Carol asked John to clarify the meaning of “term of art,” which he used in the conversation with his wife. At that moment, both already had crossed a boundary needed between teachers and students. John, by inviting her to discuss her issue outside of office hours and taking phone calls during their meeting, and Carol by intruding in his personal

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