Term Paper: Victorian New Woman: Shaw's Views

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[. . .] It's Mrs. Warren's continued involvement in the dirty business of the oldest profession that sets the pair at odds. But Vivie's struggle for independence proves she's her mother's daughter through and through (Blethyn,

About The Play) 5.

When the play starts (Olveczky)6, Vivie Warren self-confident, high-spirited, and oblivious of her mother's profession -- has just returned home from Cambridge with high honors. She is pondering her future while also trying to find a good match among the string of suitors that surround her. Curious and critical, Vivie soon learns about her mother's past, and as the truth sinks in, her attitude and outlook on life change dramatically. She distances herself from her mother, and chooses to be "permanently single and permanently unromantic."

Vivie Warren (Koenig)7, a Cambridge honours graduate, has, throughout her life, seen her mother only a few days a year. (Mrs. Warren spends her time in Europe, where, as Vivie learns to her horror, she supervises the brothels that have made her fortune.) Yet, whether because Shaw had no great interest in children, or because the issue would have been a distraction from his polemic against capitalist hypocrisy, Vivie expresses no resentment or pain at her abandonment.

Under a hearty manner (Koenig)7 she is brusque and cold, and, although a good-looking, spirited girl, she has no interest in romance, marriage, or motherhood. This detached personality, that of so many children today abandoned or neglected by their parents, could make sense as a shield against insupportable feelings of worthlessness.

But Rebecca Hall's Vivie (Koenig)7, though she is attractive and vigorous, and speaks with confident clarity, shows none of the fragility and confusion we now know would afflict a young woman in such circumstances. Her movements also are too loose and too unfeminine for a corseted Victorian, the suddenly out-thrust jaw and the lopsided grin appearing particularly anachronistic.

Play 3: Man and Superman, Character 3: Miss Ann Whitefield

A beautiful woman (Man And SuperMan, Characters, Miss Ann Whitefield) 8 described as nearly perfect in appearance. She is graceful and lovely in every sense; but she is also aggressively determined to get what she wants. Her father has recently died and left her under the supervision of Mr. Tanner and Mr. Ramsden. She is determined to marry Mr. Tanner.

Ann Whitefield is a charming and lovely young lady (Overall Analyses, Characters, Ann Whitefield) 9 who is wholeheartedly dedicated to her pursuit of John

Tanner. Strong and self-assured, Ann has absolutely no scruples over using people or telling lies to get her own way; but she does it with such charm that people give in to her without feeling hurt. Ann has pursued John Tanner since childhood. Now as an adult, she knows he would make a good husband for her, because he is strong and progressive. Tanner, however, claims that he has no romantic inclinations, for he judges such emotions as too conventional. Ann feels certain she can change his mind.

Ann is pursued by Octavius (Overall Analyses,

Characters, Ann Whitefield) 9, who proposes to her more than once during the course of the play. She, however, is wise enough to know that he is too sensitive and weak to be her husband. When she turns him down the last time, she adds that her mother insists that she marry Tanner.

Octavius then goes off to congratulate his friend on winning Ann. At first Tanner has no idea what Octavius is talking about; he then realizes that Ann, in her typically manipulative fashion, is out to get him at any cost. In the end he acquiesces to the Life Force that pushes him toward marriage and procreation and proposes to Ann Whitefield.

As a result, she gets her Superman and will certainly work to do her part to continue and improve mankind through having Tanner's children.

Works Cited

Smith, Sherry. http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/rossetti/abstract/smit.htm

Author Unkown. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


Author Unkown. Major Barbara, Characters, Major Barbara


Author Unkown. Overall Analyses, Characters, Major Barbara


Blethyn, Brenda. About The Play


Olveczky, Bence. Mrs. Warren's Profession


Koenig, Rhoda. Mrs. Warren's Profession, Strand Theatre, London http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/reviews/story.jsp?story=342805

Author Unknown. Man And SuperMan, Characters, Miss Ann Whitefield


Author Unknown. Overall Analyses, Characters, Ann Whitefield

http://www.*****/booknotes/monkeynotes/pmManSuperman20.asp [END OF PREVIEW]

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