caitlinjoseph10 | Student


The war in Bosnia, which is the setting of the play, creates an isolating environment.  Two ethnic groups are isolated from one another, villages are isolated from cities, and neighbors fought neighbors.  The Bosian women are refugees, and thus isolated from their homes and families.  JS isolates herself inside the walls of her castle, believing that it was proper to maintain this distance from her patients.  But, it just left her isolated and alone.


Although the Bosnian war was horrific, with mass murders and rapes happening daily, there was also a community of women caring for one another and recovering their ability to care for humanity.  One of the greatest examples of empathy is with the Bosnian women and JS caring for Seada and her "baby."  This baby is not real, but it allows her to process her need for mothering and love.  The women "play along," complaining of the infant's crying, worrying the baby might be sick, and holding this baby in their arms.  They do so as an act of empathy to this woman and to care for her.  JS takes a maternal role with Seada - even allowing her sleep near her. This breaks her objective stance and, at times, ends her isolation.


Read the study guide:
Necessary Targets

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