Master Class Analysis

1422 Words6 Pages
Master Class and How the Artist Ignores His Audience The culture of the 1990s -- the books, the films, the music, the plays -- was largely a reaction to the ostentatious nature of the 80s. Without many of the defining themes that past eras encompass, works from this time period tend to be “filled with incongruous motifs, without a single theme to tie them together” (Kiger). However, like all decades past, the majority of the products from the 90s feature important social issues, and the growth of a protagonist as she interacts with the consequences of said issue. Playwright Terrence McNally, who rose to prominence during this decade, wrote many pieces which focused on movements that dominated headlines. Bad Habits, Frankie and Johnny in…show more content…
Following countless rereads of important passages, and delving into McNally’s personal life, Master Class deviates from the norm in that it doesn’t focus on the issues of the masses -- Master Class…show more content…
Born to a mother who wanted a son, and a family which already had a perfect, beautiful daughter, Callas grew up with both appreciation and resentment towards the art which made her career. Throughout the novel, this idea of conflicting values -- the paradox of the diva -- is brought up time after time, as Callas freaks out at her students, then pushes them towards improvement. Her terse but plucky persona are often interpreted as almost a satirization of the media’s portrayal of the artist (Gurewitsch 105). A clear example of this in the play is when Callas is dealing with her student, Second Soprano (named Sharon Graham). Callas remarks, “That’s a beautiful gown… But don’t ever wear anything like that before midnight at the earliest and certainly not to class… This is a master class, not some Cinderella’s ball” (McNally 31). Second Soprano is distraught at the remarks, and leaves the class to hurl. Once she’s off stage, Callas continues to speak of the event, saying “Sometimes we just have to say these things, eh? am I right? I learned the hard way. I didn’t have anyone to tell me these things” (31). Her remarks, though at face value may seem unnecessarily harsh, were said with her students in mind. Likewise, many artists in the 1990s began to deal with the constant presence
Open Document