Im/possible Sisterhood: Representations of the Elderly Female Characters in Ripcord

Гайдаш, Анна Владиславівна (2017) Im/possible Sisterhood: Representations of the Elderly Female Characters in Ripcord In: FWSA Virtual Conference.

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The paper examines the literary portrayals of the elderly residents at the Senior Living Facility in David Linsay-Abaire’s comedy Ripcord (2017). The beginning relationship between Abby, a long-time resident and Marilyn, a newcomer, seems to be incompatible. Abby wants Marilyn out of the room. The playwright uses a bet between two characters as a driving force of the comedy. Interestingly enough Linsay-Abaire employs the military discourse, namely the metaphorical concept “Argument is war”, in developing his plotline and the dramatis personae. A no-holds-barred fight involves family members, facility workers, getting out of the comfort zones, tandem skydiving, robbery. No matter who wins, both characters succeed in overcoming their phobias – fear and anger. Abby and Marilyn are depicted as the products of contemporary approach of successful aging. The male playwright develops two female characters who subvert the discourse of decline stereotypically associated with aging. The stereotypes of ridiculous ad monstrous crones are replaced with the characters of technologically advanced elderly women ready to face any challenge. For the playwright being old does not mean to be old-fashioned. Linsay-Abaire’s third agers expand the tradition of contemporary stories of aging, analyzed by B.Waxman, A.Wyatt-Brown, M.Hepworth, and J.King. Linsay-Abaire makes two old women not only visible but also central figures in his play. Their representations manifest active strategies of aging in late adulthood. Initially impossible spiritual bond between Abby and Marilyn becomes a feasible alliance in the end. In terms of the play’s poetics, the metaphor of ripcord turns out as the projection of a viable soul sisterhood in old age. The paper also sheds light upon the heterotopia of the nursing home.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: comedy; senior living facility; the elderly; sisterhood
Subjects: Наукові конференції > Міжнародні
Divisions: Факультет романо-германської філології > Кафедра германської філології
Depositing User: професор Анна Владиславівна Гайдаш
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2017 10:39
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2017 10:39

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