Summary

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 212

Arlene is released from prison where she had been serving a sentence for accidentally killing a cab driver during a robbery. She moves into a run-down apartment with the intention of rebuilding her life. Before being imprisoned, she was a disruptive and rebellious individual who lived a life of crime....

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Arlene is released from prison where she had been serving a sentence for accidentally killing a cab driver during a robbery. She moves into a run-down apartment with the intention of rebuilding her life. Before being imprisoned, she was a disruptive and rebellious individual who lived a life of crime. She has now found new strength in religion and intends to shelve her past (as Arlie). She struggles to establish her path in present, but she is often distracted by flashbacks from her past (as Arlie). The two personalities of the protagonist are depicted by two actors, who at times come on stage simultaneously. Arlene has a touchingly friendly neighbor, Ruby, who comes out as a key character in influencing her present life. The play introduces various prison officials and guards such as Caldwell and Evans with whom Arlie waged a running battle. Further, the play introduces Carl, Arlene’s ex-boyfriend, who is a pimp and her partner in crime. The author further introduces Arlene’s mother who is portrayed as frowzy and unfeeling. Arlene’s father is depicted as a heartless character who sexually molests his own daughter, Arlene. The play portrays the life of Arlene as that of an individual fighting to restore her life against odds that seem inconceivable.

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