How I Learned to Drive

by Paula Vogel

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Why didn't anyone stop Peck from molesting Lil Bit?

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In Paula Vogel's play How I Learned to Drive, we witness the extremely dysfunctional dynamics of a family that is limited not only by general ignorance, but also by a lack of limitations and boundaries.

The main character, Lil' Bit, is a young female in a family in which women are not valued and men are chauvinistic. Lil Bit's grandfather, Big Papa, is the closest thing to an abuser and her uncle (by marriage) Peck his clearly perverted.

The women in Lil Bit's family are fully aware of the situation where Peck is trying to conquer Lil Bit by giving her attention, gifts and, ultimately, having sex with her. Aunt Mary, Peck's wife, even blames Lil' Bit and calls her "sly". She prefers to deny the entire thing and waits until Lil' Bit is gone off to college to rekindle her relationship.

Conclusively, nobody would have done anything in Lil' Bit's family to stop any man from having their way. They are all women who have lived under the abusive "regime" of Big Papa, and letting men get away with it is part of their daily lives.

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