What are the postmodern elements of Cloud Nine?Are there any challenges for actors/directors?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This play can be related to two "-isms" - postcolonialism and postmodernism. Both are related in the way that they challenge accepted norms and deconstruct relationships and suggest new possible approaches to study.

What is particularly postmodern about this play is the way that it deconstructs and problematises gender stereotypes. For example, Edward likes to play with dolls, even though he is told that this is not an acceptable pastime. Mrs. Saunders shows that she is a woman who is able to enjoy sex for its own sake. Such examples as these encourage the audience to question given assumptions relating to gender.

Act II further reinforces this escape from narrow, rigidly defined gender roles as certain characters strike out into creating their own gender identity without reference to societal norms. Thus concepts such as homosexuality and learning the pleasure of autoeroticism are explored and presented as valid alternatives to other, more traditional, gender roles.

Sociologically, new forms of social structures are presented in Act II as well. For example the family in Act I is presented in its Victorian, nuclear form. Act II presents us with a gay man living with two women and their two children. Such presentations force us to question how we define the concept of a "family" and force us to conceed that in our postmodern world such modern structures are not absolute and the only way.

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Cloud Nine

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