Student Question

What is the significance of Philomena's obsession with her new toilet in The Rez Sisters?

Expert Answers

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The Rez Sisters was a play written by Tomson Highway. Philomena is the down-to-earth, practical person in the story. However, like the other women, she does want to make her existence in Wasy (a Native American reserve) more comfortable. In the story, seven women travel from their Native American reserve to Toronto to play what is expected to be the biggest bingo game in the world. Each woman has her own dreams about what they would buy with any winnings. They all want to win money to better their lives in Wasy. The women's dreams of winning money are related to their desires to make their lifestyles at the Native American reserve more comfortable. So Philomena's obsession with her new toilet is a manifestation of her underlying desire to improve the living situation that was disgusting and unappealing to her. Once Philomena actually wins enough money to buy her new toilet and gets it, she feels very happy. She believes that life in Wasy will be much more comfortable and tolerable. In her mind, Philomena can enjoy life on the Native American reserve again.

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