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Lecture 13

THEA 2200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Green Carnation, Erving Goffman, Black Tie

Course Code
THEA 2200
Marlis Schweitzer

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Dierent ways of thinking about mobility allowed us to look at its aspects
Geographic mobility connects to its larger history by
Political Mobilities: ideas move throughout the novel, Stowe and how many
people read it and have seen the play
oHow it is closely tied to the anti-slavery movement
oAesthetic mobility: from novel to play to #lm and other forms
oEmotional Mobilities: how the audiences feels and reacts to the themes
The Importance of being Earnest
This play is connected to social mobility, who can marry whom, the politics
involved in that, etc.
Objects in the play
Geographically: the movement into the country and city with the double lives
they live
Production history: How Oscar Wilde became an important celebrity 1880s
and onward where you see a lot of photographs of him, etc.
oA author being elevated into celebrity status
Emotion: it is operating in an entirely dierent context (it is a comedy, not a
melodrama like Uncle Tom’s Cabin)
Read against the grain: how you may read it as a queer text
oWe don’t always see the same things when we go to theatre, it can
always be interpreted in various ways
1. Gender roles in Victorian England (1837-1901)
Period of Queen Victoria’s reign
Separate spheres: men and women were suited to dierent social and work
Mobility: women are to be in the home, they were responsible for taking care
of the children, household, and husband. Men on the other hand are hardier,
have grand intellects, best suited for public life, in politics, business, in the
social sphere, etc.
Biological determinism: you biology si your destiny, your gender determines
your certain expectations, women cannot pursue higher jobs, it’s meant for
Women are dressed in corsets, the men picture
Homosocial: environment for the same gender, the pub, the workplace, etc. a
place for men to inhabit and rule over
Women as “angel”

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Highly romanticised view of women as angel
They were expected to take care of the mental, emotional, spiritual wellbeing
of the husband, not only responsible for the house and children
oMake sure he goes to church, he eats well, things that will make him
successful in the workplace and support him
Women weren’t supposed to be sel#sh and servicing others
Queen Victoria really helped promote this idea of women since she had an
incredibly large family herself 1840-1857 (13 years, 9 children, and she was
the queen)
oThis idea of the angel is associated with Victoria
She is alsi using this to demonstrate what a lovely domesticated woman she
is but she is also an empress of the British empire
Home as refuge
How women were supposed to keep the home: have nice furniture and nick
It became a representation of your status and reputation
You can showcase to your friend that you are doing okay and what is
important to have in a home, you have re#ned taste, wealth through the
quality of furniture and paintings on your walls
This demonstrates your social capital and is about demonstrating status
Parlor: dierent from the bedroom and kitchen which is backstage places
Erving Goman- thought of ways of extending social dramaturgy
The home is a theatrical environment, the parlor is the meeting space
between the public and private, becomes an important staging ground
Cozy corners: in@uences by the east, environments where women can
imagine herself as reclining as a princess, etc. you see the excess and
examples of imperialism through the animal skin. It is about your personal
ideals but also status.
Female bodies as sites of male status
The more beautiful your wife’s gown is at a ball or public event, the more it
says about you
Women play this important role, there are a lot of fabric being using, heavy
loops, patterns, and the amount of time required to put on the corsets and
These are women who are not working and are devoting themselves to
physical appearance dependent on men
The corsets are heavy, so they are contained literally by their tight corsets.
They are held in upright positions and their movement is to appeal to the
opposite sex and demonstrate the status of their fathers and husbands
2. Aesthetic Movement
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