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White's Brown Woman single work   essay  
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 White's Brown Woman
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'I'm reading Patrick White's play 'A Cheery Soul', first published in Four Plays by Patrick White in 1965 and first staged at the Union Theatre, University of Melbourne, in 1963. It is built around a misogynist construct, the difficult woman, here the aged Miss Docker, a woman who is difficult to like, difficult to be around and makes difficulties for others. She is also, ironically, cheerful and good, the cheery soul of the title, and oblivious to the disparagement but not the condescension of others. This is apparent early in the play when the respectable Mrs Custance, who is moved to perform an act of kindness towards the less fortunate, invites the homeless Miss Docker to move into their 'little glassed-in veranda room'. Mrs Custance refers to her as 'a dedicated soul' but tends to agree when Mr Custance, a man with a 'Nietzschean moustache', likens it to 'the soul of a bulldozer'; others such as the Vicar denounce her 'militant virtue'.' (Abstract)
Last amended 24 Feb 2021 17:00:19
11-12 White's Brown Womansmall AustLit logo Meanjin
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