(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Uncommon Women, and Others traces the choices and frustrations of a group of young women attending an exclusive women’s college in the early 1970’s, a time of social change in which the traditional family expectations for young women were giving way to new possibilities. The women are confused by the options open to them after graduation. The play depends less on plot than on character groupings. The characters form a spectrum of women, with Susie on one end of the spectrum and Carter on the other. Susie is a cheerleader and organizer who, without reflecting on life, bounces through a world of elegant teas, steady boyfriends, and career plans. Carter, on the other hand, is a withdrawn woman who lives solely in the world of the imagination.

Between these two peripheral characters are the five main characters, who are confused about their purposes and goals in life. On one side of the group is Kate, who wants to be a lawyer but feels that such a career choice will compel her to accept a lifetime of boring routines. On the other side is Samantha, a child/woman who will settle for marriage to a man whom she can encourage and stand behind. In the middle is the attractive Muffet, who does not know whether to wait for her prince or to strike out on her own. Balancing Kate and Samantha are two women who do not know what they want. The raunchy Rita does not want to live through a man, nor does she want the business world to transform her into the...

(The entire section is 573 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

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