The Balcony Essay

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Annette Petruso is a freelance author and screenwriter in Austin, TX. In the following essay, Petruso explores the complex depiction of women in The Balcony.

Of Jean Genet's The Balcony, Robert Brustein noted in the New Republic that "Genet is less interested in the titillations of pornography than its philosophical implications; and the erotic scenes are merely a prologue to his theaticalized version of society, of life, and of history." Though The Balcony is absurdist, it is revealing in its contradictions about women and their place in the world. Genet's version of women's role in society is complex and paradoxical, as it was in the reality of his time and still is today. This essay explores these contradictions and the powerful role women play in The Balcony.

There are three major female characters: Irma, who runs and owns the brothel, the Grand Illusion; Carmen, Irma's bookkeeper and former...

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This section contains 1,702 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Balcony Study Guide
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The Balcony from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.