Wendy Wasserstein American Literature Analysis
Wasserstein ventured into playwriting partially because she felt that there was more comedy in her life than on the television situation comedies she saw as a girl. Primarily, though, she began writing plays because she believed that the women in the plays she saw were stereotypes that did not reflect the women that she knew. She set out to write meaningful comedies about women; Wasserstein’s plays thus deal primarily with the relationships among intelligent, educated, and often highly successful women who are trying to come to terms with both their own identities and society’s expectations. In Uncommon Women, and Others, all the women characters are graduates of Mount Holyoke College, a prestigious women’s college for the academically superior. Harriet in Isn’t It Romantic is an up-and-coming executive with an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and the protagonist of The Heidi Chronicles is an art professor with a degree from Yale. Wasserstein deals with exceptional women.
Wasserstein’s exceptional heroines are asked to live up to new expectations for women, but the pressure to be exemplary has left them confused and uncertain about their identities. Much of modern drama focuses on characters who have lost their sense of purpose and cannot figure out who they are or where they belong. Wasserstein works out this theme by exploring the lives of troubled women who are trying to discover what they want in the age of...
(The entire section is 2600 words.)
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