What are the features that make this play an absurdistĀ or avant garde play?What characterizes this play as absurdist drama?

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Some of the characteristics of absurdist drama, or theatre of the absurd, are a general sense that life has no meaning, a lack of belief in any kind of god, and absurd or unusual characters set in absurd or fantastic situations.

Cloud Nine can be called absurdist, first of all, by the fact that its characters serve more as caricatures, or types of people, rather than fully developed people. Each one serves as a type to portray the ills of colonialism. Just as the characters serve as stereotypes of colonialism, so also they embody elements of the absurd: Edward is played by a woman; Joshua, the black African servant, is played by a white man; Cathy, the four-year-old daughter, is played by a man. Her mother is also played by a man. The play has the element of the fantastic as well in that in Act 2, while being set one hundred years in the future, the characters have aged only twenty or thirty years.

The author uses these absurd elements to make a statement about gender and racial oppression, making them to be what is the true aburdities.


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